It’s definitely that time of the year. As someone who loves the warm weather and spending my days outside, right about now is when I start impatiently waiting for spring to come.
I try not to complain when it first gets cold, because I love the season of thankfulness that fall brings. I try not to complain at Christmas, because it’s a time spent with family remembering the Son of God who came to save us. I try not to complain at New Year’s, because I think it is a gift to get to reflect on the past months, and look with hopefulness towards the future.
But by February? I have a hard time not complaining in my heart.
I look up what the weather will be like each morning in hopes that I won’t need a coat that day. If it’s sunny, I roll down all the windows in my car until it gets too cold, and try to remember what it feels like in the summer. I start dreaming and planning all that I will do outside as soon as it gets warm again.
I know that loving the warm weather isn’t necessarily bad. God created the seasons and everything in nature, and when He created me, I fully believe He created my heart to feel joyful when I’m outside. It’s okay that I feel this way. But it’s not okay for me to be ungrateful for the other seasons too, or wish them away because they’re not my favorite.
Maybe this is something you’ve experienced before. Right now, you might be waiting to move up to middle school, or to start a new sport you’ve been wanting to try. Maybe your family is about to take a big trip, and you’re excited to be out of school for a week. Maybe you’re counting down the days until camp comes again, ready and eager to go back to the place you love.
Maybe what you’re waiting for is more serious. Maybe there is something that is sad in your life that you want to end.
Whenever I think about someone in the Bible who had to have a lot of patience, I think of David in the Old Testament. There are lots of places in the Bible where David writes about being extremely sad. He talks about having sorrow in his heart and that his soul was in deep anguish. He wasn’t just waiting for spring to come; he was walking through deep, deep sadness.
In Psalms 22:1, he says “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” When he stopped to think about his feelings, he felt alone, and that God didn’t care for him.
But then David remembered his faith. He remembered what God had promised him, and knew that the Lord would be with him even though he was sad. Just a few sentences later, he wrote to God: “Do not be far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help” (Psalms 22:11). David believed that the Lord would come through for him, and asked God to be near him. He didn’t wish the hard times away; he just let his faith feel bigger than his feelings.
I don’t know if David’s circumstances got better quickly or if they took some time, but his faith helped him wait patiently.
He’s actually the person who wrote Psalms 23, our theme verse for this summer. The first words of it are “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Looking to God with patience helped David feel that he always had enough.
It’s hard at times, but we can do this too. We can choose to let our faith feel bigger than our feelings when we’re tempted to want things to be different. We can choose to remember God’s promises even when we are having to wait. I know that spring will come soon, but I have to be patient, trusting that God will be near me right now.
Sometimes, a visual reminder can help us do this. If you love the summer like me, you can decorate your room with a few reminders of spring to help you remember what is true. There’s instructions below on how to make a tissue paper flower if this is something you might want to do.
When you look at your flower, or other reminders, don’t let them simply remind you that spring will come again, although this is true. Every time you see them, pray to God, asking Him to help you let your faith feel bigger than your feelings when you have to be patient.
This activity has been adapted from the post “How to Make Paper Flowers” featured on the Design Everyday Blog.
Things you’ll need:
- Tissue paper
- Pipe cleaners
- To start, pick out the tissue paper that you want to use. You’ll want two sheets of a lighter color, and five that are darker. Stack these on top of each other as neatly as you can. Use your ruler and a pencil to measure two inches from one edge of the tissue paper. This is how big you want your folds to be.
- Fold the edge of your tissue paper in two inches, then flip the sheet over and fold it again.
- Keep going back and forth with your folds until all the tissue paper is folded accordion style.
- Once it’s folded, run your ruler over the edges to make them really crisp.
- Next, unfold your tissue paper and separate your two light sheets from your darker sheets.
- Cut the lighter sheet in half, and then fold it in half again.
- Use scissors to cut most of your lighter sheets in little strips, leaving the ends connected together.
- You’re done with the first part!
- Next, fold your darker colors in half, and round the edges to make them look like a U. These will become your flower petals
- When you do this, you’ll want to trim down the sides a little bit so your petals can open easily.
- Unfold both colors, and lay the lighter color on top of the darker one, fitting the grooves together.
- Fold it one more time accordion style.
- Fold the paper in half.
- Use a pipe cleaner to secure it all together in the center.
- Gently fluff your layers one by one, being gentle not to rip the paper.
- Tie a piece of string onto the pipe cleaner, and you’ll have a finished flower that can be hung up!
About the Author:
Meet Abigail Reed! Though she currently serves as the LIT for activities at WSC for Girls at Mt. Berry, Abigail has also worked as a counselor, Assistant Tribal Leader and Tribal Leader for the Chippewa Tribe. This UNC Chapel Hill grad loves hugs, Disney movies, and all things Girl World!