Winter is not going down without a fight in these parts.

The softer underbelly of the snow-pack is gradually receding - but the serious soldiers, those snowbanks which have been blown and jumbled and packed tighter than salted sardines in a tin, are hanging on for dear life.

In fact, they are showing impressive fortitude in the face of the strong spring sun. Sabres drawn, they face the prospect of melting with determined solidarity, deflecting what rays they can with coats of fresh, pristine white on their shoulders. Oh, the sun has made some indeterminate inroads here and there - but for the most part, the guards have found little to deter their charge of duty.

You and I know something these soldiers of snow seem loathe to acknowledge. Spring is coming. Soon, they will be forced into oblivion, a glorious changing of the guard, as it were. Weapons of ice and snow will be laid down for a season, out of place among greenery and growth and botanical prosperity to come.

But the change does not come without resistance...

Are there old habits clinging to you that are out of place in the context of new spiritual growth in your life? Are there deep-seated fears or thought-patterns that just won't lay their weapons down without a fight?

Welcome to the changing of the guard.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:4

When I read this verse, I see the changing of the guard. The epic battle we all face in this fallen world - a battle of good versus evil, a battle of self versus submission, a war of conflicting desires both to seek and run from the God who seeks us. And since the battle is both within and without, we are doubly bound to fight, to experience failure, to slip into patterns and choices which are not in our best interests.

The writer of the book of Hebrews is assuming that we are fighting. Expecting a war of epic proportions. Encouraging his readers to fight, resist, wage war against all that wages war against us.

And in this, I have hope.

I feel this changing of the guard in my soul. I have long served God - on the surface. But on a deeper level, I am finding a deep thirst to seek yet more of this magnificent Lord, sensing a renewed desire to give over more of my life, my heart, my self. And it comes at a price.

The winter places in my inmost being fight hard against the inroads the Son's rays are making. At times, the battle is fierce! But I am strangely encouraged, for I know that there is only a battle where territory is at stake - and I know that one day, my battle will be over. The Son will melt away the last resistance fighter, and I will embrace Him fully as Lord, as I was designed to do.

Until then, I fight. I struggle. I flounder, and fail, and choose poorly, and live to choose again. I know that the more territory I place under my General's command in this life, the more equipped I will be for the next. I know that as I fight, I learn valuable lessons from my mistakes.

Are you sensing a changing of the guard in your own heart?

Resist. Stand tall, in God's strength. One day soon, your Spring will come...

"Fight the good fight of the faith." I Timothy 6:12

For a haiku on this topic, visit Meanwhile, Melody Muses