Here is my preference for winter weather.
I struggle with winter for a variety of reasons. I don't like cold weather first of all. Secondly, the days are short and the nights are long. It results in less exercise, less time soaking in Vitamin D, and an overall lack of desire to do things. The challenge to just work up the willpower to get out of bed on some mornings can be a real struggle. Is it a physical issue? Is it a mental or emotional issue? Is it a spiritual issue? Do I lack discipline in my life? Am I just lazy? Could it be a combination of all of these things? Let me just answer "yes" to all of the questions so that I have it adequately covered.
I realize that this admission is coming from the guy whose website is titled, "Articulating Hope." I assure you, it's not hypocritical. I personally understand the struggle, and subsequently, I know deep down the real need for maintaining hope. Can you even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to function on a daily basis if you had no faith or hope in God? How does such a person confront illness, death, and all the calamities that enter our lives from time to time? Our hope in Christ does not disappoint.
I have been reading more and more about the mental health struggles that people have been facing during 2020. These challenges have certainly been exacerbated by the pandemic and the social isolation connected to it. (The election isn't helping matters either.) Locking down our churches and other institutions of support made the situation even more dire. Domestic violence, addictions, and suicides, are part of the equation that seem to be getting shoved under the rug. Anxiety, depression, and loneliness can be devastating. I can only imagine the level of heartbreak that our senior citizens in nursing homes have experienced over these last seven months. The loneliness, the isolation, and the lack of human touch has been as awful as the virus in many cases. The psychological, sociological, and spiritual consequences of this human experiment will result in more casualties than the medical charts will ever demonstrate (even with a disproportionate number of deaths being attributed to COVID-19).
The economic impact of shutting down society was evident. Businesses closed. People lost jobs. Financial hardship ensued. These factors are readily visible. We frequently don't see many of the other social ills until they strike close to home. Just because we do not see them does not mean that the problems do not exist.
My dear people of faith, please keep praying and being an ambassador for Christ. The world needs our faithful witness. We are each wounded in our own way. Let us use our pain and our struggle to comfort someone else. Even in our brokenness we can be a beacon of light to someone else. Join me in ARTICULATING HOPE to our world!