It’s cold today. Really cold. Just a few days ago it was in the 60’s and sunny. That reprieve from winter only lasted a couple of days, but I was infused with life and energy during that time. I was sad to see it go.
I am not a fan of winter. I see all the winter weather across other parts of the country right now, and it makes me shudder. When you start counting snow in feet, that’s a lota snow… and a lota cold!
Cold temperatures make me scrunch up tight and shiver. Who likes that?
Cloudy days, gray skies, cold wind, and rain just seem to be par for the course during the winter. But that kind of weather makes me want to stay in my unattractive, yet warm and comfy, pajamas. I want to stay in the bed with the covers pulled up to my chin.
I love to grab lunch with my friends, but I am hard pressed to do it if it means I have to endure the winter weather. It is tempting to become a winter hermit. I can easily close myself off from the people I like to see, and the things I like to do. I want to say, “See you this Spring!”
I actually passed up the opportunity to visit, even briefly, with a friend from my small group because of the cold. I had arrived early for church a couple of Sundays ago, and was sitting in the van with my children waiting a few minutes before heading on in to church. It was freezing outside. It was still warm in my van. I was not looking forward to the cold walk from the parking lot to the door of the church.
So I was sitting in my warm van, putting off that activity as long as possible, when I saw my friend with her two little children waving at me. I waved back. She paused for a moment, but saw there was no chance I was gonna get out in the cold to greet her. She laughed, waved me off saying she’d see me inside. Only I knew I wouldn’t. We attend a BIG church. The likelihood that I would run into her inside was remote. I chose warmth over friendship.
This is a serious problem I have.
The warmer few days we had recently infused me with life. It was a little break from the prison I call winter. And it gave me hope of what is to come: sunny days, warmer temperatures and blue skies are all just a couple of months away.
Life is like that sometimes, too. Life is hard. Really hard. This life anyway. As Christians, we walk through this world, endure it’s hardships, and can easily be swallowed up in the muck and mire we find here. But then sometimes we get these small reprieves. These moments in time when we get a glimpse of what life will be like one day. Maybe it’s on a retreat, or in a worship service- but it can happen anywhere. One day all wrongs will be made right. All sickness will cease, and all sadness will be made joy. Jesus will come back triumphant, and make all things new again!
The challenge is for us not to scrunch up tight and shiver from this world’s imperfections until that happens. We feel oppressed, have challenges on every front, and we want to hide away until it’s over. We sometimes feel we might get crushed under the things we have to endure.
But then we get that glimpse… A glimpse into what will be one day. A reprieve. It’s a reminder that while things are hard and uncomfortable here, this is not our home.
I think Paul said it best:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18