Here in the deep south we have recently been in a deep freeze. The whole country has had some brutal winter weather, but it is really unusual to see the mercury dip down into single digits in South Carolina. It has probably been decades since the weather was this cold during a southern winter. Nine degrees is a pretty big deal around here.
I lived up north for a few years. I’ve seen some cold weather. The kind of cold weather that gives you a brain freeze when you walk outside. My northern friends know how to do winters. One summer, while living up there, we had a heat wave for a couple weeks that was awful. It was rough because we weren’t geared for heat in that part of the country, but cold. When it comes to weather in the south, however, we know how to do heat and can do one-thousand percent humidity in style. It is the kind of heat that feels like sticking your head in an oven. We are geared for it and we do it pretty well. But cold is another story all together. It is something we are unaccustomed to (some people don’t even own a coat), unprepared for (some heating sources can’t keep up) and creates some hardships (broken pipes anyone?) because we are not equipped to handle it (you don’t even want to hear about our lack of snow plows). It also takes a lot of energy, time and resources just to stay warm and keep things going.
This last cold snap was all anyone could talk about everywhere people congregated. At churches, the grocery story and the doctor’s office, the common question was, “Is it cold enough for you?” and the reply always being, “Too cold! I’m ready for some warm weather.” This deep freeze lasted about a week and we’re still waiting for the shoe to drop when the heating bills come in, but we did climb out of freezing temps and when the cold snap ended, it ended with a flourish.
One morning it was hovering around 20 degrees and the next day I was standing outside without a jacket at 64 degrees and sunshine. But that week of cold was a very long week. It seemed like it would never end. (I know all my Northern friends are currently rolling their eyes. Remember…summer lasts here from April to October :). It is our thing…not winter.)
Life can be like a winter deep freeze sometimes. We can feel stuck in a situation that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight while knowing we don’t have the ability to do anything at all about it. It takes a great deal of energy and effort just to keep things going. Our lives can be in a very deep freeze sometimes.
Maybe it is your marriage, your career, your health or your finances. It just seems like this season will never end. As far as deep freezes go, it could also happen in your spiritual life as well. Has your relationship with God grown cold? Do you feel stuck, like it takes all of your energy just to go through the motions, but you really can’t see an end to how things are right now?
I’ve been there. I’ve been there recently. I just couldn’t get any traction and felt like the fire in my relationship with God was waning. A deep freeze in your spiritual life is kind of like a southern winter though. One day it’s cold and the next day the sun is out and you’re warm again. Sometimes you just need a little time for things to thaw out. In the meanwhile, just keep doing what you need to do. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep going.
Just because you can’t feel the sun, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It is. It always is. And just because you can’t feel the SON, doesn’t mean He isn’t there. He is. He always is. He wants to pull you into the warmth and He never turns away from anyone who wants Him. Seasons change and difficulties pass. Hard times don’t last forever. You won’t always be stuck in the deep freeze of whatever you’re facing and the hardships that come with it. Your time will come to stand in the sun.
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