It caught me by surprise. Without warning, my voice jumped at least an octave. Sitting in my driveway, talking to a friend in far warmer Florida, I shrieked. “I saw a robin!” In fact, it wasn’t just one but about a dozen of them frolicking in my front yard. They swooped from the tall trees that line one side of our yard down to the peach tree not far from where I sat and then darted back up to the tall trees again.

Realizing I was talking with a southerner, I didn’t know if she knew the significance of seeing a robin when you live in the cold snowy north. I shared with her that I’ve always looked to the first sighting of a robin as an early sign that spring is coming. Long before the tulips break through, the trees bud, or the temperatures warm, robins announce that the seasons are about to change.

As we spoke, neither of us could ignore the symbolism in life. So many people, including me, are now, recently have been, or are heading into as season of challenge. Difficult seasons can feel like long tunnels where you can’t see the end. But, there is hope. And, my flock of winged friends served as valuable reminders for all of us, especially if life feels a bit like winter right now.

1. Seasons don’t last.

Even the coldest, toughest, feels-like-it-will-never-end seasons in life come to an end. Some seasons, like winter some years, over stay their welcome. Battling a long illness, relationship woes, or parenting weariness can feel like incredible marathons. But, we can look back across our own lives and see the ebb and flow of challenges. Tough seasons are temporary. They will come to an end. Look for the robins in your situation. Maybe it’s more chemo sessions are behind you instead of in front of you. Or, maybe your child unloaded the dishwasher with out being asked. Robins can look different to each of us depending on what season we’re coming out of. Be encouraged. Challenging seasons don’t last.

2. Change starts before you can fully see it.

My yard is still covered in snow and our thermometer reads a mere 3 degrees. It would be easy to complain and be disgruntled by the bitter weather. But despite appearances, change is creeping in. Soon the snow will melt and water the flowers that are still tucked in the ground waiting to bloom. The birds’ return are an early announcement – almost a save the date. Spring is on its way. It’s the same in our situations. We may see all the reasons to hold on to our weariness. We might even be able to create a full list as to why our circumstances are worse than the winter outside. But, that doesn’t mean things haven’t already begun to loose. Life is a journey and change is a process. Just as the flowers have already begun to grow in the ground, your situation isn’t stagnate. Hold on to the encouragement that God is already answering your prayers, you just can’t see it yet.

3. Hope is best when shared.

My sweet friend in Florida noticed the instant change in my voice. She could feel my joy. In that moment, hope multiplied. I went on to share my robin sighting with co-workers. They haven’t yet spotted any robins. But, when I told them about my frolicking flock, they too were encouraged. Sometimes in life, we’re the ones who have found reasons to be hopeful. We need to share it with those waiting for their current season to end. Hope shared is multiplied and lifts us all up a bit. Be a multiplier.

4. Notice the little things.

When you feel stuck in a season, it can feel like your mountain will never move. Notice when small changes hint that a shift is beginning to happen.With the weather, I notice that the sun is warmer, the sky is bluer, and the snow has mounds are a bit smaller. In life, the little things can be found in the moments where we catch our breath. It might be as simple as catching yourself laugh at a joke, or smile when you see something sweet. Your little thing might be the first lab test that comes back with numbers a bit better than last time despite still being in the middle of the battle. Be on the look out for breaks in the clouds. The little things will encourage you and help remind you that change is coming.

It’s your turn:

What do you look for when you want to see signs that the weather is changing and spring is finally coming? Have you seen any signs yet? Has my robin sighting given you hope that the seasons will be changing soon? Click to comment, I’d love to hear from you.

What about when your going through a difficult season in life, what encourages you? Why not share it below and help others find hope too.

Until next time friends, be blessed!

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