Winter Bites

Here’s the thing:  When winter grips glacial and the very bones in your hands knob frozen you are just going to have to fake it.

When winter’s bite keeps on biting and the oil tank keeps emptying through the chimney and the dryer breaks and the struts go on the car because the frost heaves keep rising up up up to dislodge the very teeth from your jaw, you must do whatever you can to muster up the strength to be….happy.

If you don’t, you just might become…

crotchety.

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Chronic complaint will pickpocket your joy and you won’t even know how you got to be this cynical about something so majestic and mundane as the weather.

Another storm comes from the west.

Another opportunity to fight fear.

Nine weekends in a row there has been something coming from the sky threatening peace… be still.

Who hasn’t white knuckled it at some point this winter through the drizzle and slush?

Who hasn’t clenched teeth and stiffened shoulders against sudden ice on the asphalt?

The whole lower forty-eight seems to have been bitten by Old Man Winter hard this year and frown lines are furrowing deeper. Shoulders are sagging enough already.

Complaint tries to reign and that’s when things get really dangerous. Not only is our outside frozen…we steel our insides hard, too. Bitter winds can yield bitter hearts if we let it.  When the elements pound hard we are tempted to believe no one is for us…in fact, all may be against us.

It’s hard not to keep the lips thin grim when a draft keeps pouring under the 110 year old front door because the threshold is no longer plumb. It’s hard to wake early just to clear a path. It’s hard to smile when you’re trying to stay warm.

Yet…fight and be quick about it.

Be quick to do whatever you can to keep the heart in a place of spring joy, no matter how cold it is outside. It’s the slow plodding, the resigned shuffling through life that gets us into trouble.

I say, “Let there be surgery!”

Let there be the sharp stab of Another Reality that sets our feet and our hearts back on joy and hope and, heaven help us…smiling!

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

It is not our own hearts we must fix our eyes on, it’s His.

His heart that knows the times and seasons and places where we will put our feet. He knows the end from the beginning and when the north wind will blow. He knows that we are but dust and are so easily blown, so easily settled.

And yet He  loves.

He gives us a future and a hope and there is no such thing as calamity, there is no such thing as crotchety,  for those in Him.

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