Wednesday, May 20, 2015

choo choo'ing through the winter of our discontent

This morning, in the middle of May... in the heat and humidity of Texas no less, I woke up thinking about Winter. Winter in Chicago specifically.  Winter, when I'd wake up in the middle of the night to cold toes, get up to find a big pair of fluffy socks, and be surprised by intricate ice crystals forming like little feathered railroad tracks choo choo'ing atop the glass of my window pane.  Silently, behind this living painting was more mysterious art being created in real time as large snowflakes hang-glided down to the ground, ultimately covering the earth with white parachutes of confectioners sugar.  Winter...

Wow.  God sure is awesome, isn't He?

I almost felt wrong sharing this thought with you today.  For I know that the past winter was quite difficult and taxing across many states. "A doozy for the record books!" as my Grandpop would say.  But while preparing my 3:00 a.m. bath water and noticing through my bathroom window the shadows of outdoor palm fronds swaying under the orange hue of street lights, Winter now seems like a forgotten childhood fondness. A far away memory that I may or may not be able to enjoy ever again now that I live in a more tropical climate.  I miss it's crisp smell.  I miss snuggling up in my bathrobe and slippers while holing underneath down-filled bedding.  I miss winds whistling through eaves and rafters.  I miss crackling fires, the smell of pine, snow angels, the crunch of bootprints to and from the mailbox, hot chocolate (with marshmalows), and chunky home-knit scarves long enough to wrap around your neck more than once.  Winter, I miss your fresh coating of purity that covers each brisk new day... after the sludge and slush we humans produce and kick around in our messy little lives.  After our hurried days have subsided for a few nighttime hours of rest.  After loathing attitudes filled with complaints have been silenced with the gift of delightful sleep.  Still, we seem to always awaken restless and unsatisfied with God's artful, changing masterpieces sitting silently before us.  The cold makes us discontent.  (Just like the heat of summer can make us ornery.)  O, how the Creator must sigh in response to the moans of mankind's fickle prerogatives.  Too hot.  Too cold.  Too little.  Too much.  Our Shepherd calmly, wisely answers, "Yes... more snow.  Yes... more shoveling and work to be done.  Yes... more maneuvering slowly, carefully through another frost-filled period.  So, just follow Me.  Just follow Me and love love love."

(Pause)  Being still.  Knowing that He is God.  Wow.  God sure is awesome, isn't He?

All time is precious, isn't it?  All moments are useful and necessary for us to become more like Jesus.  To seek after the Savior's holy.  To know His glory intimately.  To reach out our barren branches with the faith that He will clothe every limb in His pure whiteness.  Are we looking to see His beautiful stature through the toughest of moments?  For His peace warms like nothing else.

Yes, we need winter to refresh our planet.  We need it's different, desolate water to wash us, nourish us, and blanket us in the reminder that Spring will return.  That Jesus is indeed coming again!  But until that glorious moment, His gift of NEW is still available to us every morning.  Miracles continue choo choo'ing all around, even if we forget to notice, or acknowledge, or even remember His grace in our selfish, sludgy haste.  But, I encourage you to try and notice, dear friends.  I encourage you to pause beneath His majestic throne and devotedly remember His perfection like one listening to the charm of Debussy's "Clair De Lune" for the first time.  Brew yourself a fresh pot of hot coffee (or tea) this morning and watch the breath God has given you condensate over the steamy liquid.  Study the Savior's promises as you sip.  Be thankful for every winter's breath He has seen you through.  Remember His everlasting covering, and praise Him for another NEW day and the NEW identity that He invites you to wear in His Name again and again and again!

Yes... today there is still more shoveling and work to be done in our hearts and lives.  And yes... Jesus has promised to teach us how to maneuver slowly, carefully through these frost-filled periods.  But don't lose sight of His workmanship or forget to notice and cherish His miracles.  His mercies are NEW and made evident every morning - even through seemingly frozen trials and complicated forecasts... even through dangerous conditions... even through muck and mire, sludge and slush, peaks and problems.  Remember His intricate ice crystals and white parachutes of confectioners sugar.  Spring will return.  Jesus is indeed coming again!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Wow.  God sure is awesome, isn't He?

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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