Friday, September 14, 2012

For lo! the winter is past!

"For lo, the winter is past...The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come" (Song of Solomon 2:11,12).

Someone has said that God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb. Perhaps the verse that best fits this is 1 Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."

For lo, our winter will pass, and spring with its beauty will come once more into our life. At the time of sorrow this seems impossible. When we are in the vise of grief we resent those who try to convince us that time indeed heals. "Like one who takes away a garment in cold one who sings songs to a heavy heart." (Proverbs 25:20.) In a way we are taking away the distraught's garment of protection when we quote our quota of grand platitudes while the person is simply trying to survive the next minute. Intellectually we all know--or certainly want to believe--that healing comes eventually but, while passing through the valley, the wind whips into us with such fury that we feel we will never be warm again.

God tempers the wintry winds to His shorn lamb! What a comforting thought this is. Others may steal our coat of trust and hope, but our precious God comes along and covers us with His feathers! Psalm 91:4 gives us this promise: "He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge..." Feathers may not seem much of a covering but, when we consider the mother hen safeguarding her young, it takes on enormous significance. In Deuteronomy 32:11-12 we are given yet another aspect of this thought: "As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the Lord alone led him..."

There's another encouraging thought here about being covered with God's protective wings, away from the blows of life: we are hidden close to His heart while He heals us of the anger and ache that so often come from sudden catastrophe. We can feel the rhythm of God's own heart and be re-timed, so to speak. Grief gives us that period where we can reset our spiritual clocks and get our priorities back in order. Sometimes we even draft a new blueprint for our life, finally understanding that God is the Author and the Finisher of our new life.

In Matthew 23:37, Jesus says to Jerusalem and to us all, "How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Jesus wept over Jerusalem and He weeps over us. He wants to gather us under His love and truth that protect us from the world's winters.

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