Winter is still here, the icy wind biting into the frozen earth. Winter seems to be the longest season in this land, with its cold that seeps into late October and doesn’t even begin to thaw out until the middle of March. The bitterness of -9 degrees makes me ache for summer, even though my friends remind me it gets even colder in their towns further north. I don’t like winter. I never have.
Sometimes my heart is like the winter. Anxiousness creeps into my autumn, flooding my heart with worries. Then the frost comes in the shape of doubt and inadequacies. It’s not that the world is even that bad, or that my life is a disaster — because it usually is not — but the weight of the worry that settles into my veins some days begins to freeze my heart. Because, when I begin to count the troubles that trouble me, they stack up high and block the warmth of the sun.
Truth is, if I’m counting problems, I’ll find quite a few. But. . .if I’m counting blessings, placing each one atop another, they could lift me high above that wall of doubts and fears. I have a notebook full of blessings to prove it. When I look in that book and see all that my Father’s done in me and through me, it’s like spring comes back in my bones. It’s not that the troubles don’t exist, it’s just that Joy exists more. When I can sit down and count the more than 1000 ways that God has filled my life with the good things that come from Him, suddenly the Peace rushes back knowing He’s in control. So, I’ve discovered that my best defense against stress is Joy. Joy that brings with it the Peace that my loving Father gives when I let Him take control. Here’s my verse for thought today:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14.27