Mid-winter Hope

Devotional Archive

Day 7 - December 7, 2019

Mid-winter Hope

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Medical Center Clinical Pastoral Education reflection:
As I reflected on my generally somber affect, I wondered what it would take for me to feel more upbeat. I began imagining or picturing in my mind the environment I would drive through on the way to work. I thought of the trees standing bare without leaves—appearing dead. I remembered the leaves fall off, in part, because the tree sap goes down into the roots and that the sap going down into the roots helps the tree to survive through the hard freezes of the winter. However, the trees are not dead. The processes of life are still going on within the trees.

I realized I was, in some ways, going through a “winter” in my life. I had left behind a warm and nurturing church, community and family home. I was focusing a lot of my energy on establishing another home and on accomplishing the tasks of a new ministry in a new setting. The vital “sap” of my life had gone down to establish and maintain these basic “roots.” I realized I was not “dead or dying” and that the processes of life were still going on within me. Spring would come for the trees and spring would come for me, as well.

I was excited to realize that I was still connected to and participating in the processes of life, and, thus, connected with and living with the Source. I felt energized by this. I was excited about going to work and I had a different outlook on the hospital setting. I realized that people in the hospital—patients, families, and staff—were also participating in the processes of life. Many, especially some seriously ill or injured patients and their families, were going through a “winter” phase in their lives. They might appear to be “dead or dying” but the processes of life were still going on within them. Spring would come for them, from the Source of life, too.

Prayer: Source of life, thank you for renewing souls in the winter times of life. Thank you for the living hope we have in your unseen, yet eternal, processes of life. In your holy name we pray, amen.

submitted by John Grummon, MDiv, Association of Professional Chaplains, retired

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