Sunday, February 13, 2011
For Lo the Winter is (almost) Past
I've suffered a virus this week, one of those aching, sneezing, feverish colds that depletes the available supply of Kleenex at an unbelievable rate. Despite liberal use of germ gel and Clorox wipes, this morning my husband, John, woke up with unmistakable signs that he too had fallen victim to this virulent rhinovirus.
"I've caught your cold," he accused.
"It is not MY cold," I replied grouchily. I was a victim. Do not blame the victim!"
And so our morning went.
After John left for work with a thermos of hot tea tucked under his arm, I came back upstairs thinking I would rest awhile longer. I paused at the doorway of my bedroom and surveyed with distaste the crumpled wrappers from cough drops, wadded tissues, and rumpled bed linens. I decided to purge the area of all germs, and as I began to clean I raised the window shades and looked outside. After days of sub-zero windchills and too much snow, the temperature had reached a balmy 45 degrees. Letting go of a negative mindset is not easy, but as I gazed at the melting snow, I allowed myself to feel a hope of spring. I looked at the propane tank that holds fuel for our house furnace, and just beyond it noticed the neat stack of firewood. I thought about how inclined I am to focus on the storms life brings me rather than to thank God for the protection He provides from those storms. Warmth, heat, and light were all ours in abundance throughout this bitter winter.
I turned from the window and came into my little upstairs office room, noticing signs of comfort all around. The little electric heater that warms my feet as I word process...
And the afghan made by my cousin's wife as a Christmas gift about thirty years ago. It has survived many washings intact, and is our go-to source of warmth when the bed doesn't have quite enough blankets. We wander around the house looking for it, because it quite often gets carried to wherever someone wants to settle down to read or watch TV. "Where's that afghan," John will ask, "You know, the one Carol made..."
After several weeks of grousing and complaining about my lot, today I'm willing to admit that God has been very good to us. Life brings its storms. My mom's Alzheimer's disease is just one of the challenges we've faced over the past few years. But when I focus on how God has seen us through, I feel hope. Winter can't last forever, but while it lingers the Lord's comfort and provision will see us through.
Scripture: "You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm..." (Isaiah 25:4)
"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come..." Song of Solomon 2:11-12, KJV