In A Nutshell | January 15, 2021

Bundle Up This Winter and Don’t Be Cold-Hearted

Did you know that January 18-25 is typically the coldest seven-day period of winter in Ohio? Me neither!

The bad news is that’s next week. The good news is that once we get through it, things should get slightly warmer, or at least not any colder.

However, as we know, the weather in our state often changes suddenly, unexpectedly, and without notice, so bundle up and beware.

According to Aaron Wilson, climate specialist with the Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), “the polar vortex — a wide area of swirling cold air near the North Pole — has weakened and split in two,” What this means is that temperatures could plummet to single digits and possibly even sub-zero — the very thought of which sends chills up and down my aging spine.

At the same time, according to Wilson, “this winter’s weather is also being influenced by La Niña, meaning the temperature of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America is colder than average.” These conditions affect weather patterns around the globe, including Ohio, which could mean “a wetter and warmer-than-average winter and spring.”

Makes me wonder why the weather can’t make up its mind. But then I am reminded of how difficult it is for many of us to make up our mind. Let’s face it, we all run hot and cold from time to time, and like the weather, our disposition often changes in an instant.

So, as we head into what may be the coldest weak of the winter, ask yourself to gauge the temperature of your heart. Is it warm and steady, or is it cold and variable?

To give us some spiritual perspective, consider these passages from Scripture as you adjust your internal thermostat…

  • Proverbs 4:23 states that we are to “keep [our] heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” If our heart is so cold that it freezes, how can we possibly enable the springs of life to flow from it?
  • Psalm 51:10 asks God to “create in [us] a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within [us].” More good advice because as temperatures drop, it is advisable that we clean or change the filter in our internal furnace so that we are renewed by the Spirit from within.
  • Psalm 73:26 encourages us to remember that even when our “flesh and heart fail, God is the strength of [our] heart.” Now, that’s encouraging, right? When all other means of warmth fail, God is always there to bring warmth to our heart and comfort to our soul.
    Let us not allow our hearts to be cold or hardened in this or any other season. Instead, let us abide in the Spirit as it touches and softens our hearts, so that compassion will flow freely, and that we may bring others closer to the Lord, leading to what we read in Psalm 34:18, which reminds us that he will “heal “he brokenhearted and save the crushed in spirit.”

Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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