Can we say that winter is halfway through? I don’t know if that is encouraging or not. I guess it is better to take a positive viewpoint. We can look at the glass of water as half full rather than half empty, or like the engineer who says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
The tradition of the groundhog seeing its shadow meaning a longer winter is debatable. How do the global warming proponents view that?
It is good to have more daylight and feel the warmth of the sun now. The increases are incremental but promising.
I am amused when I think of how, at the beginning of winter, I feel like 20 degrees is cold; yet after a spell of -20 degrees, 40 degrees warmer is very noticeable and nice. Sitting by a warm fire is comfortable while you watch the wood form a peculiar alligator skin pattern as it burns.
Poets and songwriters write about warmth in relationships. A warm welcome and heartwarming thoughts are pleasant. Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” That fits with what the Bible says in Proverbs 16:24 (CEV), “Kind words are like honey— they cheer you up and make you feel strong.”
Family and friends offer warmth that is not duplicated by anything or anywhere else. God created us as social and spiritual beings in a physical body. That is why relationships that bring warmth are to be treasured. Long before the beginning and growth of “social media”, which can be hurtful as well as helpful, God created us to function in families and then in the church to help meet our social needs.
Heart warming can come after heart healing. The Bible says he is near the brokenhearted and he heals broken hearts. David and other psalmists wrote and sang about that truth. David said, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted.” Another psalm says, “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages up their wounds.” Life brings experiences that cause wounds to the soul and hurts to the heart. It is good to know that the Lord can take care of those things as well.
The Proverb says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Abraham was called a friend of God. What did the disciples think when Jesus told them, “I have called you friends”? Did they feel a warm glow in their hearts? It was a closer relationship than they had expected and one that offered benefits beyond what they imagined.
Jesus was with his disciples for 40 days after his resurrection. Up to 500 people saw him alive. The majority of his time before his ascension was spent with those he already walked with for over three years. They fearlessly followed his command and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the reality of his promise, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you,” in the outpouring of his Spirit.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ can be strong and special. Follow his word and move into greater experiences with him this year. His presence is very heart warming.
Mitch Glover is pastor of Sterling Pentecostal Church. Sunday services include Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Bible study is Thursday at 7 p.m. Visit the services and sterlingpentecostalchurch.com.