I've been too cold to do much of anything lately. As I sit here typing this, the outside temperature is -29. Fortunately the winds are calm right now so it actually feels warmer than what it is.
When you've been at these temperatures for awhile as we have up here in the upper midwest, there comes a point where you just never feel completely warm. Perhaps those of us who are natives of the area actually notice it more. In all probability, anyone who was born here probably froze their fingers, toes, nose and ears at least a few times as a child. Although I never suffered from frost-bite, I did have to keep all of my hair pulled up for awhile during the winter of 1977-1978 due to having to walk a mile in high winds in subzero temperatures without a hat. I couldn't bear to have anything, even whisps of hair touch my tender ears. The pain which lasted about a week was enough that I refuse to own a winter coat without a hood.
With age, you notice all these extremeties which have been frozen in the past even more. I've been walking around with my hands clenched inside my mittens. Gloves are a bad idea in this weather. Mittens are best and I have a nice pair of thinsulate ones. Usually they serve me well as do my Sorrel boots but when it gets this cold...well, the cold penetrates everything even if you are sitting next to the fire.
When it gets this cold, all you can do is endure it. If it lasted just a day, you could possibly just curl up and let it pass over you. However, when it is extended life can only be put on hold for so long. If you were to simply "curl up" for a long, long period of time, you would eventually use up all of your resources and die. There's work to be done, resources to renew and in short, life goes on.
Many times when we face adversity, we want to just curl up. To face it head on, to venture out to renew our resources is just too painful. We'd rather huddle under a blanket and stay warm. That's okay, but we can't stay there all of the time. There are times when we must check all of our "gear" and go out into the "cold". It may seem unbearable at the time but it is not impossible.
When it gets this cold up here, we start talking about the January thaw. We start to talk about the promise of spring. All week long people have been looking forward to this weekend. While it is -29 this morning, we're supposed to break zero later today. That's the first time in about a week or so. The temps are supposed to be rising after that. They're still talking about hitting 32 by Monday and the warmth is expected to last for at least a week.
This is how you endure this sort of cold. You hang onto the promise that it will not last forever. There is an end in sight. I can't help but remind myself that although we face adversity in this world, it will not last forever.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:4-5Though we may be in winter now, we have God's promise that it will not last forever and the very best is yet to be!
I really do pray you all get your thaw and you can enjoy the warmth for a season. I think the climate up there in MN is harsher than in Sweden and Norway where so many came from. That's what my dad used to say (MN native). He spent WW 2 in Kodiak Alaska and said it was like south Texas compared to MN.
Great analogy regarding our future hope. Praying for you to stay warm until it gets warm.
K, what a beautiful blog. I marvel at God so often as He uses His creation in understanding our times in life. I am one who just wants to curl up, but am forced to face it so to speak. With animals to tend to, I cannot just curl up and wait for the spring, but face it head first and look forward to spring. And as much as I really dislike winter I see the necessity of winter, just like the winter we have in our lives, we emerge a new creation, with new growth and new hope after winter has lifted and spring has come forth. I am like Alight, I just love spring. I like to be in His creation and see each bud come forth, each flower rise out of the depth hear the birds singing, it gives me such a sense of peace and joy as I think about it. I love to plan and plant my garden, I dream of feeling the sun's warmth on my shoulders as I dig in the dirt. It is 6 here and Maryland and I have been putting off my chores outside but it is time to face them. As I go about them, I think I will focus on my hope of the spring and thank God even for the winters in my life.
Yup, I am a curl-up-in-the-fetal-position-under-my-comforter kind of gal. And I have given in to that temptation too often in the past.
I love the way you remind us that we just need to look to our future, like Jesus, who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross.