Unlike some of my family—who  can’t wait to go downhill skiing—I don’t look forward to winter. When the first snowflake falls, I immediately start calculating how many months of Michigan winter are left.

Imagine C. S. Lewis’ fictional world of Narnia, where for a hundred years it was always winter. Cold, wet snow—with no hope of springtime ever arriving to wipe away the memories of icy temperatures and piles of white stuff. But worst of all, in Narnia, Christmas never came. Always winter and never Christmas! To me, the best part of winter is the anticipation, excitement, and wonder of Christmas. Life is bleak when you have nothing to look forward to.

There are some whose souls are locked in winter. The hardness of life has frozen their hearts. Disappointed with life, they find that each day is filled with despair. “Weeping may endure for a night,” the psalmist tells us, “but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). In the darkest times of our lives, God longs to turn our “mourning into dancing” (v.11).

David wrote, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul” (Ps. 94:19). If you cry out to God in the midst of your “winter,” you can experience the joy of the Christ of Christmas today.