“The wasted city is broken down; every house is shut up so that none can enter.” –Isaiah 24:10
That verse is not referring to Hall County, Georgia where I live… but it describes it pretty well today. My daughter took the picture above in our backyard yesterday. It’s really cold, and I’m not really one who enjoys the snow. If I were a superhero, today I would call myself ArcticMan, ruler of the sofa in the frozen land of Housebound. Yes, Day 2 of winter ugly has arrived and nobody is going anywhere this morning. Yesterday’s two-inch Georgia blizzard which shut down metro-Atlanta has now become a thin layer of ice on our roads. Red-clay ditches have swallowed many a sliding vehicle, so I decided that my truck would not be among them. ArcticMan and his family will be spending another day nestled in the warmth of a home, in front of a fireplace at full flame, and alongside of one another. Enforced breaks in the daily grind always lend themselves to the deepening for my gratitude of the most important things in life.
This is not really a convenient season for me to have to cancel meetings or get behind in a non-stop flow of workflow. Yet, I hear the affirming voice of the Father as He orchestrates some weather that leaves me little choice but to slow down, breathe slowly, and simply unwind a little away from the stream of have-to’s. My heart is dwelling upon those who have no roof over their heads today. I’m merely annoyed by the snow and ice, but there are some whose actual survival is being threatened by it. Some are sleeping in it. Some are desperate to find shelter from it. It is likely that not every homeless person in metro-Atlanta will survive this first freeze of 2018. My deadlines and duties and preparation for preaching seem insignificant when they are laid side by side with people who are inadequately clothed, insufficiently fed and sheltered not at all. Today is a day of opportunity for us to gain perspective, and to let life’s fists unclench as God teaches us to take deep breaths and…relax.
Thank You, Abba, for providing things that I often take for granted in the hurrying, flurrying and scurrying of my normal workweek. Thank You for these hours in my house where I can sit near Amy, listen to Alicia play piano, laugh at Landon as he douses us with his improv humor every three hours. Thank you that I am fed and clothed and sheltered. Please forbid that I would become someone who ever fails to appreciate these things. Never let me become spoiled. Holy Spirit, impart moments of wise clarity to me as I embrace that sobering awareness that I am extremely blessed. Help me not to rush past that reality because it has been my norm for many years now. Lord Jesus, I hope that I would still be able to boldly declare that it is well with my soul if I ever came to the place where all the tangible blessings of this life were no longer with me. Father, I suppose that, perhaps above anything else, I want to live gratefully. I think that thankfulness is the great balancer of my soul. When I am thankful, everything seems right between me and You, me and my family, me and my friends. So, on this cold winter day, I just want to say, “Thank you.” You are very good to me. It makes me want to be very good to others.
You are worthy of it all.