Why is it that during the coldest and dreariest time of winter, the cardinals are a redder red? The blue jays a bluer blue? Pine trees a greener green? And the blue of the winter sky is the bluest blue imaginable?
I’m sure it only seems so. Possibly because the landscape is so dark and the winter sky seems to be a sullen gray most of the time. Any spot of color – whether it’s a bird, tree, or the sky – seems to be a much more vivid color than usual.
I believe God does this to give us a pick-me-up as the winter season begins to get on our nerves and wear us down. Sure, the first couple of snowfalls are gorgeous. We glory in the beauty of the perfectly white scenery all around us. But by the end of January and into February, we’ve had enough. We’ve been snowbound – and ice-bound. We’ve slid into ditches and done more donuts – unintentionally – than when we were teens.
To get us through those gloomy, dreary, depressing last days and months of winter, God sends little bits of color to brighten our days.
He does this spiritually as well. We all have times in our lives when we must deal with sorrow, troubles, and even depression. And in those times, God will send someone – or something – along to brighten our journey.
My mom always loved to feed the birds. Cardinals, blue jays, and juncos were her favorites. My sister and I have continued to feed them, even though she is gone. The last few years, blue jays have been scarce around my neighborhood during the summer months. I really miss them and pray for God to “send me a blue jay” every year. He always delivers.
Last year, my father was very ill and I knew we were going to lose him unless God touched him. One Saturday morning, before leaving for the hospital, I was watching the birds and prayed for God to send me a blue jay – just to brighten my day – and to reassure me that God was listening. None came before we left. The next morning, I was getting ready for church and looked out my window. There were 3 or 4 blue jays hopping around the bird table. I could hear a voice inside my head saying, “I do hear you. And I know what’s best.” My father passed away not long after that, but I took comfort in knowing that God knows best.
About 5 months later, I lost my cat. Smokey was about 14 years old. I have no children, so this little gray ball of fur was my “baby.” As my sister dug her grave, I sat with her and watched the blue jays – which we hadn’t seen in a while – squawking and flying over our heads. Once again, I felt God saying to me, “I’m here with you.”
Two weeks later we found a kitten in the parking lot of our office. We asked around the neighborhood, but no one knew where she’d come from. So we brought her home. I can’t tell you how many people said to me, “God gave her to you.”
Yes, I truly believe He did.
And that, my friend, is the key. We have to be open and receptive – and believe. God can send us blessings to ease our pain and lighten our loads, but if we don’t believe and refuse to accept them they won’t do us a bit of good. My prayer is that I will always be open and receptive to Him – that I will let him change my gray skies to blue.