Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Winter


I’d like to write something for you, brothers and sisters in Christ, to encourage you and bring you hope and help you make it through this long, long, brutal winter.

As I write this, it is snowing once again and the forecast calls for more high winds and sub-zero temperatures. And, yes, the media is again using that phrase that resounds in my psyche like chewing on tin foil while shaving my head with a cheese-grater.

Polar vortex, indeed...

Oh, I know spring will come. It has to. God promised it would:

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22 ESV)

And there are plenty of verses about patience:

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Not to mention one of my favorites, even though I am not very good at it at all.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (Philippians 2:14)

I had a conversation with my daughter about winter and being happy.  She related a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that was brought up recently in a class she is taking.  

Number One on the list of “happiest” states in the nation was: North Dakota.

This was followed by South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Iowa was also in the top ten.

Hawaii was number eight.  In fact, Hawaii was the only state in the top ten that was a “warm” state. All the rest were states that are most definitely in the Snow Belt.

There were sub-categories in this study also. Topping the list in “Emotional Health” was Alaska where people go without seeing the sun for months! And the highest “Life Evaluation” index came from Nebraska!

I’ve been to Nebraska. That’s why I put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. Trees find Nebraska boring.

Obviously, how we gauge our quality of life has little to do with the physical climate. The study gave credit to increased job opportunities as the reason for North Dakota’s top ranking but life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities were also part of the data used in the assessment.

Maybe winter isn’t so bad after all. Maybe winter makes us appreciate spring even more.

Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, is widely accepted as a conversation between Jesus and the Church (the bridegroom and the bride) when they are united together for eternity. Here are verses ten through twelve:

My beloved speaks and says to me:
Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,
 for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

I think I’m going to go make a snowball, put it in my freezer, wait a few months, and (in Christian love) give it to the very first person who uses the phrase,

“Hot enough for ya?”

Today’s Praise

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8 ESV)

 

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