Monday, December 10, 2012

Under the Snow, There Lies Hope



“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits--
Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
Who redeems you from the put and crowns you
with love and compassion,
Who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”
Psalm 103:2-5

The snow fell and whitened the road that I was driving down.  It looked like large wisps of wool and silenced the hills.  Sitting on top of a fence post was a hawk.  The hawk wasn’t moving; he just sat there, wings folded, surveying the same white and silenced world I was looking at. 

I thought about what might be going through his mind:  how does his world now compare to the spring, where freshly sprung green grass dances on the hillsides with those surprising spots of color as the wildflowers make their appearance?  Or to the summer: where the wildflowers have withered away and the wild grasses now lie in the relentless sun and grow tawny brown?  Or to the fall, where the earth is spent and awaits the approaching cold and snow?

And yet, he still sat there, his world now white, silent and so very different from the hillsides of a few months back.  I started thinking:  he must know that somehow, someway, those hillsides will return.  They have every season he has been here.  He was not just surveying his world as it was; he saw it as it will become.  Therein lies his strength:  he knows change is coming--he can’t say when--but he knows that the world will awake from its snowy slumber.

Our poet and king, David, knew that too, and celebrated it in Psalm 103.  He knew the power of contemplating the green hillsides of the past with his Lord, and how his soul has been blessed, healed and loved by Him.  His contemplation of God’s provision back then gives him to the strength to face now.  Youth was bestowed upon him not by turning back the clock, but by an infusion of hope into his spirit, that was bending under the load of "now."

Memory is powerful:  we can close our eyes, and see back to where the Lord was so evident in our lives.  Even if snow covers the ground, or will in the future, by seeing what the Lord has graciously provided in the past, our strength is renewed.  We can see the green hillsides under the snow.

Prayer
The hills are covered in snow, Lord, or I see clouds looming on the horizon that are bringing cold, biting winds.  I need renewal of my spirit:  joy in my heart, peace in my mind.  Help me to revisit those green hillsides of Your power in my life, and walk among the dancing grasses.  The snow is cold and I am weak; but I will be renewed by Your presence.  Change will come--I can’t say when--but it will come.  It has before.   Spring always follows winter.  In Jesus’ mighty Name, amen.

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