For a Cold Winter Day

I sometimes wake up with hymn singing in my head. It’s not an angelic choir but merely the tune and the words. This morning I heard:

“Be still, my soul, for God is on your side; bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to your God to order and provide; in every change God faithful will remain.”

It’s a haunting tune, but the words are really comforting. It gives me pause to consider how my soul is faring today. Maybe God is speaking to me through song and inviting me to deeper contemplation. So… how are things with your soul? What is weighing on your heart or lifting up your spirit?

When it’s bitter cold outside and I know there is more to come, it’s easy for me to get a bit morose. I sometimes find it harder to get motivated or excited about life in general. In those times I turn to scripture, to the mystics and prophetic people of prayer to hear God’s word for me.

Luke 12:34 instructs, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Rumi writes in Be Melting Snow, “Lo, I am with you always means when you look for God, God is in the look of your eyes, in the thought of looking, nearer to you than yourself, or things that have happened to you; there’s no need to go outside. Be the melting snow.”

These words help to re-orient my heart and mind to the gifts I’ve received from the Spirit. We all have gifts given of the Spirit. Maybe we don’t like the particular gifts we have received, or maybe we just don’t know what to do with the gifts we have been given. Even Jesus was hesitant to use his gifts at the wedding in Cana (Sunday’s scripture lesson from John 2: 1-11). He said it wasn’t his time yet. And, maybe it wasn’t. But perhaps he just needed encouragement from another to remind him he was ready.

Maybe today is the day to embrace God’s overflowing love that has been shown to us both in the gifts we have received from the Spirit and in the presence and love demonstrated by Jesus’ life. As tempting as it may be to say, “my hour has not yet come” there is work for us to do and we have been equipped to do it! The wine overflowing at the wedding of Cana after Jesus used his gifts is a reminder of our opportunity to use the gifts we have been given to allow God’s overflowing love to heal and to help.

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