March 12, 2018

Winter seems to want to hang on. Sometimes, trials and difficulties seem like a winter that will never end sapping our vitality and darkening our emotions like an octopus with sticky tentacles and suction cups wrapping around our souls. But when spring comes, the snow melts, the flowers bloom, the birds sing and we leave off our winter garb and breath the fresh air of a new season. The sun hangs at a new angle in the sky warming the earth and the rains come and wash away the dirty remains of winter while the ground springs forth green with hope and new life.

Spring in our souls can be had every day even in the midst of winter-like circumstances. All we have to do is change our perspective and take time to look and be warmed by the life-giving Son. Too often, we bear needless pain and weight because we allow dark clouds of disappointment to obscure our view of the One who is always near us to bear our burdens.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and our heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

David, the sweet singer of Psalms, asks a very good question: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?” And then he gives the answer: Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:11).

Hopelessness is simply looking at the wrong thing. If I zero in focusing all my attention on that which ails me, I am looking into an endless tunnel with no light at the end. If my problem is bigger than me, all I can do in my weakness is wallow around in this slough of despond. My emotions get sucked down like shoes getting pulled off when you step into a muck hole and you know if you pull any harder to release yourself, you are leaving your shoe behind. How easy it is for us to make a meal of emotional worms and light our path with darkness, sigh and cry bitter tears.

But when I have a little talk with Jesus, he can dispel the darkness of my emotional storm. It is going to be alright. After all, what is the worst-case scenario you or I can think of? Most likely, whatever we are wrestling with is not going to kill us. And even if it did, what do Christians have to worry about leaving the planet if Christ is their Savoir? Oh, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not take it to the Lord in prayer believing He knows the path through our wilderness.

“Jesus Savior, pilot me over life’s tempestuous sea”… “we have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the sea billows roll,”… “Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee,”… “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,”… “the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want,” Our hymnbook is full of songs dealing with the cure for stormy souls.” Maybe all we need to do to get out of our despondency is to stop being doubting Thomas and sing the goodness and the grace of God.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).

Can you feel the Son warming your face and thawing your heart?

Because of the warmth of the Son,          

Pastor John Schofield