Sunday, December 11, 2011
I still don't have all the correct equipment to stay warm during a Saskatchewan winter. As I enter my second Christmas season here in Canada I have a closet full of adorable knitted caps and scarves--some even with matching mittens--that I toted with me on our move from the United States. But the idea of looking cute in these winter fashions has had to fly out the window in favor of a less adorable wardrobe which helps me stay warm in the frigid temperatures.
I have a pair of "driving gloves" I got for a Christmas present when I lived in Oregon a few years ago. They kept the early morning chill off my hands in Eugene, but up here in the frozen tundra, that's a different story.
Last year I discovered how useless these gloves were here in Canada when I wore them as I braved subzero temperatures walking home from choir practice. When I got back into the warmth of my house, at first I couldn't feel my hands. Then gradually they began to ache as the life crept back into them.
It hurts to thaw out.
One of my favorite Christmas carols is "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus". The invitation of the first verse is so sweet and simple.
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
This last week after I was at a service where we sang it, I felt a weight inside of me -- kind of a longing. Although it ached, I didn't want it to go away. I could feel my heart opening up to places inside where I am still waiting for Jesus in deeper ways. The warmth of God's Spirit was touching on frozen hopes and dreams within my heart.
It hurts to thaw out.
Christmastime is a season when God regularly does an intervention on me. When I finally slow down and listen to His voice I can hear Him asking me in deeper and deeper ways "Will you make room for me?"
My answer each time is "Yes!" And each time I revisit this place with God, the frozen places within my heart begin to melt and I am renewed.
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
Come, dear Christ. My heart invites you afresh and anew to be Lord of my life. Rearrange and remove whatever you need to make more room for your presence.