Monday, January 04, 2010

It's cold!

January came in like a lion almost everywhere in the eastern United States, and has everyone - including Floridians scrambling to keep warm. Sometimes we forget that there actually is a thing called winter down here. We get spoiled. Even today, with the temps peaking in the mid 40s, I've seen several die hard Floridians in shorts and flip flops. It almost seems as if they refuse to believe it's cold.

But just to repeat once again - it's cold!

At this time of year, with the shorter periods of daylight, and now the cold also acting to discourage much unnecessary outdoor movement, some people struggle with the blues. After all the bright lights and shiny things of Christmas, after you return home or the family leaves, or after you just wake up and realize another year is past, the blues can sneak into your heart.

So how to banish them?

Well, let's hear from a man who at the time he wrote this was imprisoned in a dungeon.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7 (NLT)

There's a challenge in those words and a promise. First, we need to be proactive in pushing back against the chill of the blues. Just telling yourself "I won't worry" is about as effective as telling yourself "I won't eat that chocolate cake over there." Don't ask me about how I know that. :)

Substitute prayer for that useless worrying. Have a conversation with God in which you remember Who He is and what He has done for you, and where you tell Him what you need.

Then breathe in the mercy, grace and goodness that is God. Make sure He is first in your life in everything. And then you'll experience His peace and His presence - His promise is - He'll guard your heart.

So stop and focus on just what we have received in Jesus. Pardon for our sins. Provision for today. Hope for tomorrow. Strength to meet the challenges regardless of what they are.

Turn the heat up - on your relationship with God.

Grace and peace,

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