Friday, February 1, 2019

It's So Cold...

How cold is it? Well, it’s been so cold in parts of the US that it’s colder there than it is in the Artic or Antarctica. It’s been so cold that in some parts the postal service stopped delivering mail, schools closed, and whole cities stayed indoors. It’s so cold the whole of Lake Michigan has been frozen over. It’s so cold people are blowing soap bubbles in order to watch them immediately crystalize in the air in front of them! Tragically, it’s been so cold that as of today, 21 deaths have been blamed on this polar vortex. I think many of us are dreaming about warmer days to come. I know I am. Actually, just over a week ago I was in that warmer weather when I was down in Nicaragua. It felt so good not having to wear a bulky winter coat, hat, and gloves. I could just put on a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops, and I was good to go. It felt so nice being able to jump into the ocean, lie out on a hammock, and just feel the warmth of the sun. Ah, now I’m dreaming again…dreaming of those warmer days to come!

The cold and ice of Chicago....

The warmth of Leon, Nicaragua...I know which I'd choose!

Our longing for warmer days reminds me of another longing within each of us—a longing that is so much deeper, a longing for something much more critical than just another warm sunny day. I’m reminded of our longing for a world beyond the one in which we live—our deep desire for a world filled with the warmth of God’s presence. I’m thinking about our longing for eternity.

The Bible says that God has “set eternity in the hearts of men.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 – NIV) That is, God has built within each of us a mechanism that causes us to yearn for the eternal, a mechanism that causes us to seek after and strive towards something that goes far beyond what this world is able to offer. Unfortunately, all too often we block out that mechanism with the pains and the pleasures of our lives. We forget about the eternal and end up living our lives for the material and temporal. But, somehow that mechanism finds ways of once again kicking into gear within our hearts and minds. There are times in our lives when somehow we find ourselves once again longing for and even dreaming about something beyond this life—i.e. we find ourselves looking towards the eternal.

I want to remind us today that God has a wonderful eternity planned for his children. It’s an eternity that is filled with joy and peace, goodness and love. It’s an eternity that is filled with the warmth of his presence. Thus, we ought to long for, dream about, and look ahead to that day when we will find ourselves in eternity with him. We ought to live our lives filled with faith and hope, as we lean towards that which is eternal.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 – NIV)

Have a great day…and, stay warm!

 Pastor Tim Harris

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