Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big Melt-Off

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Today is February 20th. Snow is piled high outside after weeks of some of the coldest, snowiest weather this area of Ohio has seen in decades. Actually, the snow is not as high now as it was just last week. We have had somewhat warmer temperatures the last few days, and some of the while stuff has melted. The fact that a temperature of thirty-something degrees can be thought of as "warmer" says something about how bitterly cold we have been here.

We have had so many snow days this winter that the President's Day holiday was cancelled in order to make up at least one of them. Unfortunately, that very night, we got another snow storm. What happened? You guessed it. School was cancelled on Tuesday.

I am not writing merely to seek people to commiserate with me about the weather, though. As I drove to work this morning, I got to thinking about what many areas that have been hit by record-breaking snowfalls and freezing temperatures are going to face as things start to warm up. Then, I started comparing this whole situation to life. May I share a few thoughts with you? Yes? OK, let's go.

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Frozen Ground
After weeks of frigid temperatures, the ground under the piles of snow is frozen hard. It will thaw far more slowly than the snow piled on top of it. Consequently, the ground won't be able to adequately absorb the water from the melting snow. The result? Flooding, of course. We all look forward to warmer weather, but face it. That warmer weather will bring with it certain challenges that we don't have to face as long as the snow stays piled high and deep in sub-zero temperatures. 

Frozen Hearts
In the same way, some of us walk around with frozen hearts. Things have happened to us us that have really hurt. Defensively, we allow our hearts to become hardened so we can't be hurt again. More and more "stuff" piles up on top of the frozen ground of our hearts. We don't like it. We wish for spring. We long for new life. We grasp at a glimmer of hope that God can bring His warmth into our frozen hearts. Yet there is something risky about allowing that warmth to touch us. Let's suppose that we go ahead and take that risk.

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Melt-Off Mess
As the warmth of God's love touches the "stuff" that has piled up over the years on our frozen hearts, we start to get some run-off. Thoughts and feelings that we have piled away start to pour out. Often, this gets a bit messy. Even as the residents of the flood plain of Findlay, Ohio, will inevitably have to do some clean-up after the coming flood, we also have some clean-up to do in our hearts. This is most definitely not a fun process.
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"Post-Flood" Clean-up
As daunting as the task of "post-flood" clean-up of our hearts can be, we have one advantage that homeowners living in the flood plain do not have. Our Heavenly Father is not like insurance companies that try to pay out as little at they can manage to get away with on each claim. We don't need to worry about whether or not He will provide the needed resources to restore our hearts and lives. 

There is no need to fear what the warmth of God might reveal. Allow the piled up snow to melt away. Allow God's warmth to thaw our frozen hearts. Our Heavenly Father will work right alongside us in the "post-flood" clean-up of our lives. He won't leave us with warped doors and mildewed walls in the home of our heart. He will make all things new. 
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

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