As I write this the sun is shining through the dining room window, the sky is an almost cloudless blue, and blue tits are feeding on the bird table. Yet the radio is full of reports of bad weather on the way.

As we journey through life we are never quite sure of what is round the next corner, and indeed what seems like a disaster to one is seen by another as a new opportunity. Life is full of paradox. Whilst I heartily dislike snow plenty of school children are probably longing for a heavy fall. What to me would see a major inconvenience, would seem to others an opportunity to build a snow man and use that sledge rusting away in the garage. When my eldest daughter was studying in the States her friends were delighted by the idea of a “snow day” when mums and dads who could not get to work suddenly have an unexpected family fun day. No such thing in Boston where heavy snow is expected every year and even the university had its own snow plough to keep lectures running despite the four foot fall of snow.

So sometimes life is how we look at it. For some change is welcome, but most of us fear it, failing to see the fresh insights that change can bring. For some of us clinging to the past stops us climbing a new mountain and seeing a new view, a new horizon (and I write as someone who has a real fear of heights)

Even thinking about the new month, February, would bring different connotations depending on where we live. To us in the Northern Hemisphere it evokes images of winter, ice and branches drooping in the heavy frost; yet in the Southern Hemisphere it is the middle of summer, hot and dry, where swimming might be more appropriate than snowballing.

So whatever new challenges we are facing in the New Year it is important that we remember there is always a different perspective we must consider, and remember that God is always with us wherever we are in the journey of life, summer or winter, and promises us His strength and His wisdom if only we are prepared to ask for it.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; do not try to figure out everything on your own.