Winter is hanging on.
Outside the ground remains frozen, covered by more than a foot of snow, no longer fresh and fluffy, but hard and crusted. I eagerly wait for spring, for the sun to melt through the layers gathered all winter long. To reveal the green of newness, the tip of a a tulip pushing through dark earth, the bud of a leaf about to unfurl into life.
And a birth of another kind as well. Of a new life, a new soul, one that bears a little of her father and I, and carries the image of God.
But in the waiting I fear I’ve become crusted over like the old snow, my heart slightly hardened, my joy dampened by this long season.
It’s not that things have been bad. Life has been carrying on, each day right on the heels of the last, full of beautiful moments with my dear son, my amazing husband, my incredible family and friends. Life has been good, and if you asked me now how I was I’d say “good, but tired”, and it would be the truth.
But as I sat in worship this past Sunday morning, and lay my heart bare before the Lord, I saw the ice which had begun to form along the edges of the river – the one that flows between my heavenly Father and I. And I saw how that ice had become thicker and wider, slowing the flow of that powerful river – stopping up the joy and hope and peace and WORSHIP.
I’ve struggled with idols in the past – with pride and success, with ambition and self-righteousness. But what I didn’t realize before was that fear, insecurity, hopelessness and despair are idols too – as real as any others.
Anything that takes the place of God’s truth on the throne of our lives is an idol.
So when I worry about when this winter will end and this new life will finally spring forth, and I allow that worry to stop up the joy in my life – it’s an idol. I worship the worry, rather than my Father.
And when I fear that I don’t have what it takes to push through these final cold days before embracing the warmth of the sun once again – it’s an idol. I worship the fear, rather than my God.
So today I cast down my idols. Idols of fear and worry, idols of insecurity and doubt. I choose to look past the winterandthe spring and instead set my sights on the God who changes one to the other. I choose to see past the discomfort and impatience as I wait for this precious gift to arrive, and instead fix my eyes on the God who wove her together in the depths of me.
Our present circumstances are inconsequential in the light of the goodness and power of our God. May He remain on the throne, may He be lifted High.