“He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold? Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.”
You know when the windchill values are pushing closer to the -50 Celsius mark that you are frozen over.
At these temperatures, our regular daily activities become – tricky.
If there is any wind at all, any exposed parts literally hurt. Plumbing and pipes and water systems become vulnerable. Our furnaces become our best friends.
And then, our poor cars.
We have block heaters in these parts, and can leave our vehicles plugged in when not in use. This circulates electric current to keep the liquids in the engine from freezing into ice cubes.
The colder it gets, the more potential damage. Brake lines can snap or freeze ‘on’ – and brakes are rather handy features in a vehicle. Heaters struggle to keep up to the fog condensing on ice cold windshields, interfering with visibility.
Ironically, the engine can overheat – coolant frozen solid can’t cool the parts getting hot with friction. Power steering lines can break. Fittings can leak.
In short, nothing performs as it was designed to perform when frozen over.
We know when we are licked.
Time to stay out and wait.
We are technologically advanced, well educated, well informed. We have access to all sorts of gadgets and thingamajigs.
Yet can be brought down by something as simple as the weather.
There’s nothing like a few days frozen over to remind me of how small and vulnerable I am to the elements. How tenuous my little existence really is. How little power over my circumstances I have.
And how dependent upon the mercy of the Living God I am.
When our circumstances have us frozen over, we have an opportunity for developing two key habits.
There’s nothing like a reminder of our smallness to keep us reliant on a power so far above us.
That fine line between developing and taking ownership of our own skills and relying on God is found here, in the places where we grind to a halt. We are to be active participants in our lives – and humans can dream up and achieve amazing things – but in the end, we need to know our limits.
Our limits drop us right in the lap of God.
When life has you frozen over, if you look at the windchill values and focus in on the hardships, you’ll – er, freeze up (pardon the analogy).
It’s time to flip the thinking process.
Yes, things look bleak today.
But I can choose to stay inside, where my furnace keeps things comfortable. I can jump on my exercise bike even if I can’t go for a walk. I have food in my cupboards and a companion to while away the time with. I have painting supplies calling to me and a few hours ahead of me to enjoy a hobby I love.
And life has taught me something from all I’ve been through.
This cold snap can’t last forever.
Spring will come.
It always has, and it always will. ‘At his command, it all melts…’
It feels like eternity when you hurt.
I’ve been there.
I’ve wondered in the cold and dark if I would ever see the light again.
Are you frozen over?
Pushing your limits now may cause some damage. Slow down. Stay in a warm place until conditions change. Know your limits – and rely on God to make up the difference. And use those eyes God gave you to watch for things to be thankful for.
Let this bring you a dash of humility – and a healthy dose of gratitude.
And then wait.
Because the thaw will come.
Learn from the process of being frozen over with me?
Father, You alone hold the power of the elements in Your capable and wise hands. Remind us of how small we are – yet how valuable in Your eyes. Teach us to see the good around us when we are held in them icy grip of tough circumstances. Amen.