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The Dead of Winter – and its Promise

As the winter weather turns from dry and frigid to warm and humid, dormant seeds lay in wait, nestled in the soil. 

Do you ever feel like that little seed, waiting in the cold dark for the next chapter to unfold? Sometimes, it’s hard to see the beauty in such a time. These are often painful periods to rest in. Yet, what happens in the dead of winter is necessary.

Consider what happens in the deadof winter and why we need such a time of waiting. Let’s explore the spiritual side of this concept.

A seed remains dormant or alive but not growing for several reasons. The outer coating of the seed may be too hard and not allow water to penetrate, the seed may be too immature or undeveloped, environmental conditions may not be optimal, or there may be an internal chemical inhibitor. 

Nature has so many lessons for us, especially spiritual ones. If we consider a dormant period in our lives, we might see certain behaviors or mindsets, for example, that characterized or perpetuated a season of alive but not growing. Were we tough on the outside, not allowing anything to penetrate our hearts? Were we out of balance in our spirits or minds in a way that inhibited us? Were we not yet in the right time or place? Perhaps we needed a little more maturing first. 

Some seeds respond readily when conditions become more favorable. The coating cracks open, allowing in water and nutrients, and before long, a tender sprout of new growth appears. Other seeds are more stubborn and must be scored or cracked to initiate the growth process.

In any event, dormant periods are a necessary and vital part of life. It provides a chance to rest and be still. It offers protection from harsh conditions that could injure new growth. 

Where there is dormancy, there is also a promise. New growth is on the horizon.

Write about a season of dormancy in your life. 

  • Describe what this period was like for you.
  • How was it different than your life before?
  • Was this dormancy spiritual, physical, or some other kind?
  • What happened to break the dormancy and bring new growth?
  • Were you a seed that responded readily to an opportunity to grow, or did you require some scoring and cracking first?

Please share about your dormant season in the comments below.



  • Judi
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    It snuck up on me. It wasn’t there and then it was. The nurse called my father to come get me and I fell asleep, and slept again curled up in the back seat of the car. It was only a few days until Thanksgiving. Dad picked up Mom at the factory and we drove directly to the doctor’s office. Thus began the first dormancy of my young life.

    The fever went on for days and it seemed every time I opened my eyes I was alone. I was having hallucinating dreams that left me in fear, and yet when I woke – not a soul was there. I knew they were there somewhere, sometimes I could hear them talking, but my room was dark and I could not see a single soul, and I could not make a sound. Sometimes I’d awaken in daylight and my mother would put ice chips in my mouth, or change my bed and talk to me, but all I could was smile – and the fever went on.

    Then one terrible night I was facing evil, and God was with me. I fought with such resistance that I woke both my parents. They tried to confine my movement, but the fever was breaking, you see, and there was no restraining me. When finally I stopped, my father stripped my bed while my mother washed me down with cool water and changed my nightgown, and I slept peacefully the rest of the night.

    In the days that followed I was offered hot tea, but had none of it! Finally ginger ale was offered and accepted. Gradually food was reintroduced, and I could sit in a chair by the window, wrapped in one of my mother’s homemade quilts. It had snowed while I was away in my nightmare, and the view out the window was beautiful. I came back more appreciative of my world; it had not been a total loss, you see…

    • Post Author
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:15 am

      Judi, you are an amazing storyteller. Your style immediately draws the reader into your world, and the details you weave throughout so naturally bring your surroundings and characters to life. What a scary time that must have been for you and your parents while you were so sick. The spiritual awakening, juxtaposed with your physical awakening, is beautiful. You found glory in a dark time; glory to carry you in days to come. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me.

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