Monday, March 18, 2013

IT'S MELTING

     When C. S. Lewis wrote that winter would never end while Narnia was controlled by evil, he immediately engaged the sympathy of every reader living where there are four seasons. Winter has its beauty and benefits. A deep layer of snow just before daytime temperatures begin to rise helps to produce more sap in the maples for syrup. Crops need the moisture from snow on the fields, and skiers and snowboarders love the white stuff. But the time comes, when it's enough... enough cold, enough snow, enough winter.

     Bulbs begin to sprout around the edge of the snow heaped on the gardens. Puddles replace icy patches on driveways and sidewalks. Water flows in open patches of streams and rivers. When a puddle makes me happy, I know I've had enough winter.

     ...in every way. I want what's happening in nature to take place within me as well. I want the warmth of God's love to melt away all the hardness of unbelief. I want to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18, NIV) Like the transformation that happened when Aslan came to Narnia and the power of evil was broken, we have so much to look forward to in this next season. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

SHELTERED BY THE ROCK

     Sunshine, blue skies, fresh snow... on February 18 my friend, Bet, her canine neighbour, Henry, and I had a perfect day to hike to the cascade and low bridge in the conservation area along the Grand River. Other hikers and skiers had been on the trail. It was packed but uneven. Can't say it was easy walking. I was the caboose in the adventure bringing up the rear the whole way. A two hour jaunt in another season stretched into almost three. Bet and Henry probably walk it in less than two hours often.

     Prime opportunity for thinking comes with trudging along on your own. One scripture that came to mind was Matthew 11:30, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (NKJV) What a blessing to be yoked together with One who is never without strength. When I was huffing and puffing climbing uphill over snow-covered tree roots or rocky steps His energy enabled me. Bare ground was visible under the shelter of the overhang and I thought of those favourite verses in Psalm 91:1-2, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.'" (NKJV)

     Exercise is part of my weekday morning routine, but my companions are in way better shape. All of it was just fun for Henry who is very young. At about the same age, taking dog years into consideration, I probably would have had the zip to goof around in the snow at the cascade too rather than taking pictures of his antics. Whatever our level of physical fitness, whatever our age, when the going is rough there is One who is willing to walk beside us. In times of storm we may take shelter under the shadow of the Almighty.