Waiting for spring. Waiting for sunshine and better weather. Waiting for summer break, vacation time, flowers, planting season, safer traveling conditions, and on and on.
So what is there to do in the winter?
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 ~
A season of waiting, a season of cold and loneliness, has its place.
I watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers yesterday, a musical that a dear friend of mine helped me to fall in love with in recent years. (Spoilers to follow - you have been warned!) Those seven brothers - led by the eldest, Adam - make a foolish decision in the winter season, leaving seven women to pass the long winter months in the farm house, six men to huddle in the barn, and one man to head to the hunting cabin, alone.
The boys' actions were rather ridiculous, and the innocents and guilty alike have to endure the season. The young ladies pass the time indoors:
The six younger brothers pass the time chopping wood, dancing, and singing (with pretty great choreography, I might add!):
It is a cold, lonely season for them all.
And yet, it is not a wasted season. The brothers do the right thing by respecting the women (with the help of Adam's wife, Milly, telling them to go sleep in the barn, LOL!). Milly doesn't have to endure her first pregnancy alone. The six younger brothers and their ladies get time to know one another and fall in love. There is time for healing, for forgiveness, and for hope to blossom.
"A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:7 ~
Pride carried Adam to the hunting cabin - and Milly knew she had to let him go, to "rend" their togetherness, for a while. Pride kept Adam there for the whole long winter, but after his and Milly's baby was born, the youngest brother (Gideon) knew that it was time for him to speak, to tell his brother that he was ashamed of how he was acting.
The winter season was hard for them all, but a time "to sew" everything together would come. In the meantime, separation increased the desire to see beyond pride and to work things out. The groups sang of their hopes and dreams, building strong bonds of friendship in their shared frustrations and longings. And Gideon found a voice.
So, in our own winter seasons, may we be able to accept the purpose for the time, and trust that God does have a purpose, even when we don't understand it. May we sing and dance, sharing our hearts with God and with one another, and finding something beautiful in the harshness. And may we find our voices - whatever God might be calling us to do in a time of seeming "waiting."