The black skeletal trees stand in stark relief to the gray-white background of all else. There is an edge of ice glittering on the northern rim of each limb; it seems slightly threatening in this dying day.
A huge storm was promised with blizzard conditions, but only a dusting of white powder snow is scattered over the ground. But the wind, oh the wind, and the temperature ~ albeit a few moments of sun rays ~ causes the air to crack if you punch it with your fist, hypothetically speaking, that is…
We just received a call from the office of my husband’s Dr. They have canceled his appointment for tomorrow; the Dr. is stuck in an airport somewhere! So it goes in my town: retail stores are closed, schools, and scheduled meetings due to freezing weather. Blizzards did arrive in other places; airlines are delaying flights; roads are dangerous and impassible. The coldest weather in how many years, 20? I read on the Internet the national average at one time today was 14 degrees.
Kentucky is either a south-east or mid-west state depending on your point of view; culturally, we’re Southern, but geographically it is up for grabs! But, whatever, wherever, however, it is cold here! I don’t like it! Today is a two afghan day in my chair pulled away from the window as I start my devotions.
I am a sunny day, open window, blue bird admiring, often daydreaming girl. I like my background music slightly warm with a touch of jazz or southern rock. On a good morning, it takes four cups of coffee to clear the fuzz and get my feet to moving. I am retired, so there is no urgency to do or be anything, unless I choose to do so, or ~ and this is a big “or” ~ I am led by the Lord to step out of my “me” suit and don His “we” suit. Then no matter the weather I just say, “Let the adventure begin!”
“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power…” (1 Timothy 1: 7a)
Recently, it has been my God-given task to minister to a friend whose husband was dying.
Now, if I could have just written a note or sent an e-mail message there would have been no problem, but for one rather glib with written words, I am a twit when it comes to the spoken word on an emotional level in a critical time.
After many phone calls checking on them, the moment of need came and only the uttered word and the touch of flesh would do. Jesus shielded her heart and fed her with comprehension as she nodded in assent with whatever it was I said. I never want to use platitudes; I want to speak to what is relevant in a person’s grief; I feel confident God led me in that direction and as our tears mingled, she seemed to absorb my sympathy, and the Holy Spirit strengthened us both.
I need to be honest here; I would rather do the physical things for my Lord; I work in my Church’s food Pantry. (Proverbs 22:9) I find it easier to talk with and pray for those I know so little in a personal way. When my friends and loved ones are hurting I feel inadequate, my emotions take over, and often I do the crying, and they do the talking. Hugs are warm; hugs are good; I am a good hugger, and perhaps that is really all that is needed other than my prayers. My desire is to answer this call: (Hebrews 6: 10)
So on this frigid day I can warm myself in the blessings of my Saviour, after all who am I to deserve the unconditional love from friends and family, a warm house, food for my table and the time to do His bidding? (Philppians2:3b-4)iii
While I have been writing, the last of the shy sun has gone away for the day; the sleeping ice no longer glitters on the trees, all is gloomy and dire looking. The skinny black limbs seem to beckon to me saying, “Come, if you dare, play with me, listen to my friend the wind whisper in your ear, blow down your neck and cause frost to form on your lashes! Stick out your tongue, taste winter, shiver to the beat of your jazz music. Have an Arctic frolic!” (Colossians 2: 8a)
“No thanks!” I reply, “The warmth of my home is sweeter than honey, and I’ll be worshiping in my rocking chair, Bible in my lap; stirring up a bit of “cool” air with praises of my own!” (Ephesians 1:3-6)v
All Scripture is from the “Contemporary English Version”
i“The Lord blesses everyone who freely gives food to the poor.”
ii“God is always fair. He will remember how you helped His people in the past, and how you are still helping them. You belong to God and He won’t forget love you have shown His people
iii“Consider others more important than yourselves.Care about them as much as you care about yourselves.”
iv“Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments.”
v“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for the spiritual blessings that Christ has brought us from heaven! Before the world was created, God had Christ choose us and be His holy, and innocent, and loving people. God was kind and decided Christ would choose us to be God’s own adopted children. God was very kind to us because of the Son He dearly loves, and so we should praise God!”