We’re at peak foliage right now.  It’s breathtaking as always.

But the days are getting much shorter.  The temperatures are getting much colder.  And somewhere along the way we jumped to the end of October.

I have no idea how that happened.

These past several months have blown by, and here I sit on the eve of another New England winter.

(Of course, when it snows in mid-October, I wonder whether it has already arrived.)

It seems like that’s usually the case in life.  The days of sunshine seem to race by, and we spend much of our time feeling trapped by circumstances that will take quite awhile to run their course.  We long to stretch our legs and breathe in fresh air, different air.  Winter can be harsh and relentless.  And we end up a little stir-crazy in the confinement of the dark, cold solitude that it can bring.

But what if we embraced, rather than resisted, winter?  What if we welcomed its periodic entry into our lives?

Because there’s really no way around it (Genesis 8:22).  Other seasons we love cannot come unless we endure winter.

That snow that blankets the ground later brings life and growth.

And in due time, it brings forth a harvest.

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  (Hebrews 12:10-11)