Only ten days till Winter Solstice. It’s cold and dark. Some people prefer this time of year (I’m married to one), others can’t wait for the heady days of summer.

Winter in Judea, the land of Abraham and Jesus, is much the same as our winter – we’re about the same distance from the equator. For example, an average winter’s day in Tel Aviv is 6–18oC, ours is 9–17oC.

Winter may be tough, but it’s not a mistake. Winter is God ordained. ‘You made both summer and winter’ (Psalm 74:17). ‘The Lord spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes… Who can withstand his icy blast?’ (Psalm 147:116-18). The Lord told Noah, ‘As long as the earth endures… summer and winter… will never cease’ (Genesis 8:22). Winter is a good and natural part of life.

Knowing that winter will come, wise people make preparation whilst the sun shines. Note the wisdom of the ant (Proverbs 30:25), or the wife of noble character (Proverbs 31:21).

Winter is often a good time to slow down and stay put. Much good can be achieved during a winter’s break, though it may not be noticed for some time to come. The Apostle Paul probably wrote his letter to the Romans during a winter stopover (1 Corinthians 16:6).

There are seasons to our lives and winter is usually the season we want to avoid. But God ordains every winter and wise people make preparation whilst the sun is shining. And when the dark and cold come, we know the Lord will be with us, working out his good purposes even through the chilliest blast.