“See! The winter is past. . . . Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”
— Song of Songs 2:12

In some parts of the globe, winter brings cooler weather and lots of rain. In other parts, the sunlight hours grow much shorter, the air gets cold, rain turns to snow and ice, and birds fly away till spring comes again. It can feel like a long, dreary season. Even people who like winter weather are eventually glad to see signs of spring, when flowers appear again and lots of birds return from far-off places.
Blooming flowers and singing birds can stir up visions of a place and time that is inviting and flourishing. This hopeful picture in the Song of Songs touches on a universal experience: having one’s heart light up with hope, especially in the presence of another person. Even the memory of a significant relationship, or the hope of having one, can spark the important feeling of wanting to love and be loved. And experiencing such love is like the refreshing return of spring after a long winter.
We were created for intimacy and closeness with others, and although this is not perfectly realized in this lifetime, the imagery of waiting for winter to be over is a bit like longing for heaven—when we will be lovingly received by our Savior, who takes great delight in us. Meanwhile, whether or not we face a long winter ahead, we look for signs of hope.

Lord, we long for the time when all our seasons of bleakness and struggle will be past. Keep hope alive in our hearts till we can rejoice in living with you forever. Amen.

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