There's something about bow hunting in the dead of winter. It brings together the most difficult circumstances a hunter can face. Many times, the temperatures are in the teens, the wind can cut through the thickest clothes, and the snow can make a normally short walk to the stand, a long and treacherous trek. And then you must get within bow range, which is usually thirty to forty yards at the most. With all these great conditions, what's not to like? I like hunting this way. It becomes, to me, a test. It is a test of my preparation, endurance, and ability. It's also good for me to know that only a few other nuts are in the woods with me. And after a recent gun season, it seems fitting to return the quietness of a stick and string.
In life there are also times that are more difficult than others. They are the seasons for some of the harshest circumstances life can offer. These are the seasons of sacrifice, suffering and sorrow. They make normal activities difficult and complicated. They take more focused concentration. It is the Christian winter. But it is in this winter that I am compelled to look for new life. You see, winter is the season of faith. The trees are without leaves and the ground is covered with the death of the past. Everything seems lifeless. But, it is under the surface of those leaves and that death, that we find new life for the days ahead. We may not be able to see it, but it is there. Germinating, breaking free, and growing. The lack of exposure is not for its hinderance, but for its protection. In our winter times, we too are growing. God is using the hard things to teach us to trust him. We may not see Him, but if we will look under the surface, we will find him at work, getting us ready for a new season of life. These hard things are not to hinder you, but to protect you, until it's time for you break through.