Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail

Open Winter Beetle Blues

May 05, 2023 Stephen Bly Season 5 Episode 15
Stephen Bly Down A Western Trail
Open Winter Beetle Blues
Show Notes Transcript

WESTERN WISDOM,  Season 5, Episode 15  "Open Winter Beetle Blues" audio podcast by award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Sponsored by Legacy Series.  "This Year's Open Winter" blog post article found here:

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Stephen Bly
Circa 1995 

Winters up here in the mountains of Idaho come in various degrees of severity. This last one was what we call an open winter. That is, a fairly mild winter with few blizzards or cruel relentless storms. The snow never got past two feet deep, and the temperatures never dropped too much below zero. 

Joys of Mild Winters 

Now, there’s a sense in which we all enjoy an open winter. It means there are more days when we can get outside without the air burning the lungs. And there will not be so much snow to shovel. The black ice is kept at a minimum and the heating bill is reduced.  

But a really hard winter is not all that disagreeable either. In fact, we need one up in this country. An extra ten foot of snow in the mountains, for instance, would be a welcome relief to the water table that’s been strapped for a number of years. 

More Benefits 

Not only that, but many of the old timers say a severely cold winter is needed as well. For several years now the beetles and bugs have been eating away at the forests around us. It’s a sad thing to watch the needles at the top of a tree turn yellow and die as the beetles do their work. That yellow works its way down the tree until it stands like a grave marker signaling where there once was life. 

Beetles Info  

The beetles begin to multiply to the trees around it until in a short time acres and acres of forest are completely devoid of living trees. 

Now, there’s only one thing that effectively kills that beetle—a brutally cold winter. Let the temperatures drop to 20 or 25 below and the bugs that attack the trees die. 

What God Turns to Good 

It sometimes surprises folks to find out that God can use even a frigidly cold winter to accomplish good. The same is true in our spiritual lives.  

Only so much can be accomplished by the great, smooth, easy flowing, hassle-free days of our lives. Other successes will only come about through trials, temptations, testing, and tough times. 

Consider It Joy 

Maybe that’s why the Bible says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:3). 

Enjoy the open winters of your spiritual life, but also welcome the severe ones too. God has His purpose in both.