Merriam-Webster defines the verb resuscitation:
“to bring (someone who is unconscious, not breathing, or close to death) back to a conscious or active state again; to revive from apparent death or from unconsciousness”
I live in this little northwest corner of the state of Arkansas. We are roughly 20 miles from the Missouri state line, which makes us really, really close to being Midwesterners. Kind of. But we for sure have all the seasons of a Midwestern state represented here. It’s fun. I really love them all. Except…maybe that one called Winter.
I come from a grand land called Texas. At home, we pack away our winter wardrobe in March (maybe even February) and are sweating in our flip-flops by May. Farther north, up high in the hills, Winter makes an unwelcome reappearance on chilly mornings in May, causing me to pull on my North Face fleece and grumble a lot. I don’t really even need a pedicure until, like, June. #WinterFeetForever
Winter is designed to slow us down. The productivity of daylight lessens. Night is longer. In the natural world, the workload lightens significantly, as nothing grows or needs tending. It is cold enough to keep us huddling indoors. Sickness abounds (oh.my.) and requires rest and seclusion. Some animals just sleep through the whole thing because they know they are meant for rest. Sometimes the weather restricts us from leaving home and causes interruption to our busy. I fight against the slowing, the quiet, the being stuck at home. My word for the year is ‘Listen’ and with that seems to come a season of pruning, being still, stepping back from doing all the doing, creating some “white space” in my life, and dealing with just plain yuck.
Since the end of January, the following has run through our house: a “strep-like virus”, a nasty cold that might have been RSV, Influenza A, a stomach virus, pinkeye, and more coughs and runny noses than I can count. There has scarcely been a day in the last six weeks that one of the four of us has not been ill. I can’t recall one actually. And, yes, my kids have crappy immune systems.
Around the same time the Plagues of 2016 arrived, a darkness unlike the shortening of daylight fell on me. I have fought so hard and I finally wore myself out. We are coming out of Winter now, and I would bet it has been one of the mildest on record for our area. Not only that, but the continued unusual warmth here in the first days of March have given birth to an unexpected gift. All around me, trees and flowering plants are being raised to new life. My initial reaction was something like, ‘No! Wait! Stop! You are all going to die in a freeze from blooming this early!’ And that might still happen, but for now it looks like a gift from the Father, whispering of hope and a light that overcomes the darkness.
This morning, in a calm following the storm, I was driving along listening to the wonderful Jimmy McNeal sing Before the Throne of God Above. The thought flashed through my mind: If He never lets me wander, if He never lets me drown, I am unable to truly understand His power to rescue and resuscitate. It is only in my wandering and darkness that I find Him faithful and true to reel me back in.