The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
The first genuinely cool morning of autumn in the subtropics where we live brings to mind the coldest night of our lives. During a hike on the Appalachian Trail, a cold rain during the day soaked my wife Frances and me, preparing us for an extremely cold night as we attempted to sleep in our tent. I don't know how much we actually slept, although Frances remembers getting warm enough to drift off to dreamland far more than I did. It was quite an experience, and I shiver a bit just thinking about it.
"Who can stand before His cold?" (Psalm 147:17).
Scientists tell us that cold involves the slowing down of molecules through the loss of energy. The Psalmist tells us that God involves Himself in the process, doubtless alluding to spiritual rather than physical experience. "Who can stand when the Lord slows things down?" might be another way to express the question referenced in the passage above.
"Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
In and of itself, the human heart exists as a restless place of frenetic energy that does not lead to God. The world is much with us, demanding that we race to and fro just to survive, and much more if we are to thrive. Moreover, an even more restless devil "going to and fro in the earth" tempts us to move so incessantly that we race by the stillness required to know the Lord Jesus Christ (Job 1:7). This means He must administer His "cold" in our lives, orchestrating and allowing events and experiences that slow and hinder our mad dash into oblivion. "For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Psalm 30:15).
As in our time of physical cold in the mountains, many of the Lord's stilling administrations of spiritual cold will not be pleasant. Loss of comfort, opportunity, relationships, possessions, and physical health may be required to slow down our racing spirits. If we fail to recognize our Heavenly Father's working in all things, cold will simply be bitter. However, if being stilled causes us to realize the opportunity to know the Lord Jesus, "His cold" becomes the sweetness of rest to our needy hearts.
We will never forget that night in the mountains. We smile (and shiver!) when thinking about it now, adding the experience to the chronicle of our hiking journeys through the years. Thankfully, in all our lives, an even colder cold works to slow things down in a far more vital way as God graciously seeks to reveal Himself to us. He must still our hearts if we are to know Him. And we must realize His purpose in doing so when He slows us down in ways that may seem uncomfortable, but which promise great blessedness to those who will rest and trust before "His cold."
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
Weekly Memory Verse
"Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and Thy truth's sake!"