“Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!… He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments, Who can stand before His cold? He sends forth His word and melts them. He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow.” ~Psalm 147:12-18
On this coldest day of the year I am blessed to be warm. My fire is going and my house is toasty. The wind outside is whipping through the trees. They say that it is -20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, with the wind chill. I pray for the homeless, the wild animals and any unfortunate person that has to work in this weather.
I remember being cold. One time I had to spend the night in my car, as the roads ahead of me were shut down due to an avalanche. My gas was running low, so I had to turn off my car from time to time to conserve fuel. I wasn’t alone thank goodness and many others were stuck in the same predicament as me. The thoughts that got me through that evening were that at least I was not underneath the avalanche when it came.
Our thoughts good or bad can make a difference in our present day situations.
I recently read a story about a servant man who was challenged to spend the night on a hill where the winds were known to be so cold that they would kill a man. He was promised that if he did it without a fire to warm him and survived, that he would be given not only his freedom, but a house, cattle and money. He desperately wanted his freedom so he agreed. Then he began to worry. He took his thoughts to a local wise man. The wise man told his friend to go. He would be on a nearby hillside and light a glorious fire for his friend to watch. He told him that as long as he looked upon the fire and thought of its warmth and of his friend who was lovingly tending it for him that he would survive.
Long story short, he did it and survived. The servants master pulled him in the next day though and told him that he had cheated. There had been a fire. “But it did not warm me,” he protested. But the master stood firm and denied the servant his prize.
Saddened, the servant went to the wise man and told him his problem. The wise man said for him to go home and not worry about anything, that he would take care of it.
The next day the wise man invited the master along with many other of the towns prominent people to a large feast. They sat for hours smelling delicious smells coming from the kitchen, but no food came to the table. Finally the master stood up and said, “why do you not feed us?”
The wise man replied, “Oh, but you can smell the food.”
“Yes, but smelling is not nourishment,” he complained.
“And a fire so far away doesn’t give one warmth,” he proceeded to explain what the master had done to his servant and the master left the party hungry and embarrassed.
The next day the servant got his freedom, home, cattle and money.
What do you look at? What keeps you alive?
God tends the fire for us. He is our friend who is keeping us alive, if only we’d look at Him when the wind whips and the night feels oh so cold. So today if you are cold, think of this story and think about a God who longs to give us our freedom and home.
Be warm my friends. I am tending my fire for you.