In our spiritual journey here we pass through every spiritual season末not only Spring and Summer, but also Autumn and Winter. Now it is a fact that is the Winter that tests the growth of Summer末the tree that prospered in the Summer will better survive the Winter. Again, the tree that endures the Winter best is the one that will bud best in the Spring. It is no different with the Christian. In the Winter, the sap末the power of life in the tree末is concentrated. Everything outside末the cold, the frost, and the lack of light末acts to check the expression of the sap. This effects, according as there is vigour in the plant, consolidation末which forms the stamina for future growth. So it is with the saint. In our trials and sorrows here everything around is checking and blighting末but it is also the time that we more fully understand and get a hold of the real power within. Winter teaches me what my resources really are, independently of what is outward and perishable. As this power is realised and possessed so will there be increased ability to bud and blossom, and to produce spiritual fruit when the trials are over.

   The Lord sees it necessary at times to pass His people through a spiritual Winter末when natural blessings are removed. This is in order that we should grasp the measure and value of what Christ is in Himself. The Winter is a temporary death末all encouragement to life is suspended, and there is nothing to induce one to look around or to bind one to this scene. Then it is we discover the real amount of our resources in Christ末and at the same time the actual extent of our satisfaction in things here. During the Winter there is nothing but Christ, and if He is known in His preciousness, this bleak season becomes a time when the most valuable acquisitions are made. How differently we would conduct ourselves here if we had experienced the loss of every green thing末everything conducive to the natural mind末yet at the same time were compensated for it all in the company of Christ! It would be as if one had died and had reached heaven and entered into its joys with the Lord, and had returned here again for another Spring and Summer. How abundantly would we bud and blossom, and bring forth fruit! May you know much of this blessed acquirement in these dark and wintry days, and may the Lord be able to say to you 選 have come into my garden and eaten of my precious fruits! (see Song of Songs 4: 16).