In the Deep Freeze

I grew up in Cottage Grove, Minn.
I walked more than a mile to play hockey on a set of outdoor ice rinks and then endured the same frigid journey home.
I had a paper route and regularly froze my tail delivering the local news, plowing through snow drifts of seemingly limitless heights.
I stood shivering in the early morning light at the bus stop waiting for what seemed an eternity for the bus to arrive. I walked backwards to and from school, uphill both ways, in my bare feet, carrying my brother on my back.
Okay, that’s an exaggeration … but what isn’t an exaggeration is that this has been the most drawn out winter I can recall in more than five decades of life.
Deep Freeze!
It really cracked me up on Friday afternoon to drive down a few local streets in the first real warmth of the spring because I expected folks to be starting into yard work, spring planting and so on.
But what I observed instead were clusters of lawn chairs on driveways and front lawns, with arms and legs splayed out in every direction … just soaking in the rays! Oh the rays! Oh the warmth! Oh the freedom! Oh the hope!
And virtually no bugs yet! It was the Great Waconia Thaw underway, so I joined in with gusto.
As I sat splayed on my lawn chair in my own driveway it seemed the deep freeze was slowly melting within and the outrageous warmth was filling my whole being with light. It was a delicious experience.
As often happens, my thoughts went to the parallels in our spiritual lives and I began to ponder how many of our hearts are in a spiritual deep freeze.
The symptoms are pretty evident. There’s little thought about God or spiritual things, life is just too full.
God is for times of crisis, for the weak, for the sick, for the needy … and none of those apply to life right now. God demands too much of your time, abilities and money, especially your money. So you continue your frigid spiritual experience without giving it much further thought. Deep Freeze!
So if that spiritual deep freeze describes you, is that good with you? Winters are long, cold and dark … isn’t it about time you asked God to warm your heart towards Him?
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:6 that “God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”
This is God’s specialty! He himself is light (1 John 1:5), the very embodiment of light. So if you genuinely ask Him to shed that light in your heart … and warm your heart, your spiritual deep freeze can end.
Why don’t you find your spiritual lawn chair, splay yourself on that chair and soak in the rays of God’s love through the person of Jesus Christ and invite Him to thaw you out!

By Randy Burg, the lead pastor of ParkSide Church in Waconia.