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The Arctic Blast Arrives!

By January 14, 2024Devotional

So far this winter, we have been very fortunate with the mild weather that we have been having. In fact, it has been the warmest winter we have had in a number of years. But that all changed a day or two ago. This morning we woke up to below zero temperatures and I could hear the boards in the deck out back creaking in protest.Thankfully, we haven’t sustained any damage that I know of, but I am always in alert mode and don’t sleep very well when it is windy and/or cold.

The last day or two has been both windy and very cold. People really change when the weather turns so abruptly. And strange things happen. Last night, one of the football play-off games in St.Louis was played with a -4 temp at kick-off and was billed as the fourth coldest NFL game in history. Yet, most of the players were in short sleeves and  were playing on a frozen field. No sir… not for me…

One of the saddest events of my young life happened 58 years ago yesterday. My paternal grandfather lived in a nursing home as a result of suffering from Alzheimer’s. Apparently, he wandered away from the facility on a freezing cold day without a coat and by chance, my uncle found him walking on the shoulder of a local road.

He returned Grandpa to the nursing home that my grandfather had walked away from but the damage had already been done. Grandpa caught pneumonia and died a day or two later – on January 13, 1966. It was a shock to us – it was the first time that my brothers and I had experienced the death of a family member. And it was the first time in my life that I saw my father cry… it was heartbreaking…

I think of that event when I see football players defying the weather. Another game scheduled for yesterday was cancelled due to snow and terrible weather in Buffalo, NY. I think that it gets played Monday.

Coincidentally, Janet and I watched a movie during the weekend that had to do with an airplane that crashed in the Andes in the early 1970’s. The sports team on board lost a number of their members to injury and to extreme cold. The remainder of the team had to resort to deciding if they would consume their departed teammates in order to survive for more than 70 days without heat of any kind… I think 14 teammates or so ultimately survived the ordeal. It was a gripping movie as we watched the drama unfold as one after another the teammates succumbed to the frigid temperatures.

The point or all this is that extreme cold is dangerous – very dangerous. And we all would do well to be respectful of what can happen when we are exposed to cold for extended periods of time. Our verse for tonight comes from the psalms. The psalmist tells us about God and His control of nature by letting us know, in Psalm 147:15-18, “He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.”

My encouragement this evening is that we should be grateful that we have warm homes and places to shelter us from the weather, even when problems arise as a result of storm damage or inconvenience. My prayer is that we will respect the awesome power of God and His control of all creation, including nature and everything that entails. I also think that we should pray for those folks who aren’t as fortunate and may be homeless or struggling to keep warm this winter. They are God’s children as well and are worthy of our prayers. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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