Growing up in Colorado has taught me a few things about weather. First, don't plan a BBQ without having an indoor backup plan, always have your snow tires ready, and don't listen to the weather reporters on the news! Sorry news anchors, you're usually wrong, wrong, wrong! This winter, Colorado weather has been no different than previous years, unpredictable to say the least. As the new year blew in so did terribly cold temperatures and snow!! Just when it seemed safe to go outside another storm would start peaking over the mountains or the sub-zero temperatures would force Coloradians back into their homes. While the snow has produced some pretty scenery (I added a picture at the end) it has not been easy to deal with. Even now, as temperatures start to creep up toward the 40's-50's during the day, we are met with the "unthawing problems".. snow melt, icy roads, and mud.. lots of mud. During a long commute through this treacherous terrain I started to think about how storms are never just about the initial snow fall but rather what comes in the aftermath in the days and weeks to follow. We continue to get stuck in the mud, harbor the freezing temperatures, and deal day to day with unexpected inconveniences.
Think about the "storms" you are currently going through in life. Are you drawing similar conclusions? Does it seem like although you've gone through the eye of the storm you just can't seem to warm up? I know I can say these concepts are increasingly relevant after going through the last "storm" in my life. I am currently dealing with the reverberations of the passing of my father. It was a great blessing for him to be relieved from the suffering he endured on earth but the "unthawing problems" seem to be hanging around. Please see previous posts for details but it is not a secret that I didn't see my father much while he was alive. So, how can it be that his absence is creating such a disconnect in my life? Although it would appear that temperatures have warmed; frost continues to build, cold continues to sting my nostrils, and the snow is too deep to trench through. I don't have an answer as to why this storm wont pass already but I do have a good God and thankfully he has brought me comfort today.
Even in the coldest times of life we have a shelter, a refuge, and fortress as Psalm 91 states. I urge you to read past the first few verses and look at the entire Psalm (which I listed below). The passage brings comfort and encouragement as it provides yet another reminder of God's love and how much he always exceeds my expectations. Psalm 91 states, he will keep us from harm (verse 10) and will command his angels to guard us in all our ways (verse 11) Verses 14-16 seem to have the most impact on me because it seems to provide a promise. The Lord WILL rescue him who acknowledges his name, WILL be with him who is in trouble, and WILL bring salvation! What an amazing God we serve that not only keeps us safe initially but also continues to give even after the initial trouble has passed.
Carrying this forward, Colorado winters can be long. Instead of dreading the storms that lay ahead I am much more encouraged. What is there to fear when the first snowflake floats from the grey clouds, or when the icy breeze reaches my nose? The answer is nothing. Jesus is our warmest winter coat, coziest fireside view, and our sweetest cup of cocoa.
Psalm 91 New International Version (NIV)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plagues that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling place even the Lord, who is my refuge then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all of your ways, they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Because he loves me, says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him salvation.