Our dog demanded to go outside this morning before the sun rose. Stars shone in the inky sky above. Above each house on our street a white mist rose from each chimney. The crunch of the snow beneath my feet told much about the icy air that stung me between my wool hat and up turned collar. And immediately I remembered the wisdom of the Psalmist who did not have a well insulated house nor a gas furnace. “Who can withstand God’s icy blast?”
But the Psalmist did not stop with snow and hailstones. He anticipates spring when God sends his word that causes the waters to flow.
When have you looked beyond a current hardship?
He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
Psalm 147:16-18 (NIV)
Have you ever been stuck behind a large slow-moving truck?
I have lived in places with curved hilly roads where heavy trucks would lumber up hills and carefully navigate curves. Hills that my little car would zip over and curves that practice had taught me where to enter and how fast they could be taken even when wet. Early in my career a mentor had called those slow-moving trucks enforced prayer time.
One could anxiously look for an opportunity to pass those trucks, but they would be few and far between. Often when the road straightened those same trucks would pick up enough speed to make passing unnecessary or unduly hazardous. Occasional roadside crosses often bore witness to more daring drivers. Thus I would often use those interminable minutes following a slow-moving truck listening for God.
This week perilous cold and blowing and drifting snow encouraged us to cancel our Sunday morning worship service and then clog local roads for two straight days. Although some people deemed their travel essential or desired to test their driving skills, we chose to stay home until the roads had cleared. For two days we got to sit at home read, relax, and listen to God.
How have you encountered God during this perilous cold?
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
– Psalm 27:13-14 (NRSV)
Some people eat merely to live, I love the taste and texture of food.
I’ve boasted that cooking is merely organic chemistry: make a suspension, denature some proteins, and caramelize some sugars. But good food is more, even beyond the biology of growing yeast to make bread rise.
Good food produces an aroma that entices us before it reaches the table reminding us of previous meals and evoking meals yet to come.
Good food is a work of art with colors and textures that show the complexity of life.
Good food invites conversation with friends and family that further enhances the experience, for when we share our meals we share our spirits.
Good food begs a connection with the Triune God who created us and all that sustains us.
Good food tells the story of creation and of God’s love for us each day, a love that we desire to share with those near to us and with new acquaintances.
O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. – Psalm 34.8: