Below is a contribution that originally appeared on Faith Radio Network.

I sprung off of the diving block, swam several laps, and touched the wall. I pulled the goggles off of my eyes, looked over my shoulder, and saw my time. It was a race between me and the stopwatch. The result was a personal best time.

I got out of the water, put on my deck sandals, speed walked over to my coach to review the race, and received his warm embrace. After so many swims where I just wanted to let the disappointing race roll off of me like the water beading down my skin, I couldn’t wait to celebrate this one with him.

I had a good swim because my coach didn’t give up on me. He consistently guided me through the best strategy for the race.

Growing up as a competitive swimmer, I was told that the sport teaches you a lot about life. As a follower of Jesus Christ my new coach is the Holy Spirit.

Looking back on seasons in life, I’m often reminded that the best fruit is birthed out of challenging seasons. Figuratively speaking, I refer to these cumbersome periods of time as ‘winter faith seasons’ because it can feel like winter – cold, dark, long, gloomy, and bitter. These seasons can cause us to feel like we’re slipping and sliding. At times the circumstances we endure will bring us to our knees, and it will cause us to feel like we’re being derailed or defined by these trials. Yet often a winter faith season is meant to refine us and increase our faith.

As I recall one winter faith season, the task-oriented side of me wanted to find out what strategy I needed to implement and move forward. I wanted spring – filled with blessings and blossoms.

But after walking through one situation after the next, God started to graciously speak to me through His word. He always speaks through His word.

There was a verse that kept showing up in neon lights like a lit-up billboard in Time Squares, New York.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  Romans 8:28

For several weeks this verse showed up in various devotions, sermons I listened to, and it was one of the key verses at a women’s retreat I attended.

It was clear that the Holy Spirit wanted me to heed this verse; to pay careful and close attention. He wanted me to slow down and not let this circumstance just roll off of me.

Instead of begrudgingly trying to push the situation aside in my mind, He wanted me to start living out Romans 8:28 like my life depended on it.

He wanted me to believe, by faith, that spring was a lot closer than I thought and a lot of it depended on Him, not me! Once I trusted my Coach’s strategy there was something worth celebrating with Him.

What scripture verse has God put on repeat in your devotional life?

4 thoughts on “When all you want to do is spring forward

  1. Such inspiring and encouraging thoughts you share her Sharon! Definitely a “thought provoking” post! So nice to visit your site today. I would say the verse/s that continually come up in my mind is of my ” life verses. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lore with ALL your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” I trust in my Lord and Savior but the “own understanding” gets in the way on too many occasions! Every day I ask God to help me keep my eyes on Him and trust in Him and not everything I see around me. He sees the BIG picture the TOTAL picture. I also love the verse in Romans too. My mother quoted Jeremiah 29:11 to me as I awakened in the hospital after the stroke so it has special meaning as well. What a joy to visit your beautiful site and I hope to return again. I’m going to remember the whole “winter season” thing and the blessings of “spring” that follow. Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours!

  2. Stacey, welcome to Thought-Provoking Thursday! I was so encouraged by your word here. Thank you for reminding me that “the best fruit is birthed out of challenging seasons.” I’m tucking that one in my pocket for safe keeping.

  3. I love when God sends little reminders through His word to remind us of something we may need to learn, He is teaching or just to bring joy to our souls. Thanks for linking this wonderful story at Party at My Place today.

  4. I love this reminder – often a winter faith season is meant to refine us and increase our faith. Stacey, thank you for linking up with Thankful Thursdays, I hope to see you again this week.

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