I’m tired of being cold. This winter seems to have been going on forever. We had a tease of spring one day last week, but otherwise, it’s been bitter, windy, and snowing since December.
I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life, so you would think I would be used to long winters. I’ve accustomed myself to run outside in all types of weather (because I hate the dreadmill), but I’m tired of wearing an entire load of laundry every time I go out.
I’m tired of being cold.
But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance,…
I guess, enough of my rant. I’m tired of being cold, but, really, I have no idea. Some days, I don’t even have to leave my warm house. I have adequate winter wear and a reliable car. I suppose this trouble should produce endurance – especially since I have what I need to be able to endure this seemingly unending winter. But yet, I’m tired.
…endurance produces character,…
We have had an amazing number of sunny days this winter. For those of us who suffer from the winter blues, this has been a true blessing. Today, when my husband reminded me that “at least it’s sunny,” I sort of snapped. I’m tired of being thankful for it being sunny! I’ll take a day in the 20’s without wind instead.
I don’t think this is the type of character God is hoping I will cultivate. The Greek word translated as “pride” also means to “glory or rejoice.” My problem and trouble with this winter does not include any glory or rejoicing.
…and character produces hope.
I believe that Jesus didn’t just weep (John 11:35) or get tired, hungry and thirsty (John 4:6-8) during his time on earth. He probably got tired of being cold, too. But when Jesus wept, he responded by bringing hope in the raising of Lazarus. When Jesus was tired, hungry, and thirsty, he responded by bringing hope of reconciliation and inclusion to the Samaritan woman and her town.
This is the character God is hoping I cultivate – and the hopeful response God is hoping I will be moved to.
I’m still tired of being cold. I long for it to take less than five minutes to get dressed to go outside. I want to remember what it feels like to be too hot and feel a warm breeze on my face. This is my hope, and this hope will never put me to shame.
Winter is a Sabbath for the earth – and a Sabbath for us from the busy-ness of our summer activities. A long, cold winter reminds me how God has provided: coats, boots, reliable heat, a hot cup of coffee. A long, cold winter can keep me focused on myself or remind me that others are struggling in mighty ways with this winter we are having – and remind me that I don’t really need more than one or two coats (so I’m taking some to a shelter this week). A long, cold winter reminds me of just how faithful and loving God is because I know that spring will indeed come.
I am tired of being cold, but I’m going to try to stop complaining about it. Instead, I’m going to say a prayer of thanks and then try to respond with hope. So if you catch me complaining about the cold – or the wind – or the snow – remind me of the character and hope God calls me to. I promise I won’t throw a snowball at you.
This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5 (CEB)