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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Exposed

 Yesterday it snowed for the first time since Christmas. Most of Alaska, where I live, has experienced an unusually mild winter, and bare ground covered in patches of ice has become the norm in recent months. But now, the long-awaited whiteness has finally arrived. Many residents of this place are extremely happy...because it's Alaska...and Alaska is supposed to be the winter wonderland, is it not?!
 In looking out my window this morning, it occurred to me that this scene lends to itself a spiritual application. Sometimes we must be exposed - must feel the ice-cold of our souls - before we can experience the fresh and new beginning of His grace. We must let ourselves be laid bare in all our sin and shame, must see our fears, wrongfully-placed desires, secret sins, and long-time regrets for what they are before we can taste His forgiveness and start afresh. 
 Just as folks have long prayed for a real winter around here, we can often pray for a true renewal in our lives. But God delays and gives us the divine "no" so that we will feel the hardness of our hearts, the hidden unbelief of our natural condition, and will come to long for His restoration in even greater ways. 
 Perhaps a simple snowfall gives me hope that even the seasons of being exposed bring about good when directed by the sovereign hand of my Savior! I must not turn from Him simply because He has not answered in the way I want. I must not let my heart become anxious that the desired outcome has not occurred in the way I asked for. Being laid open, being bare, isn't something to run from but rather, to run into! This is my actual deliverance: that the defeats of my sin-sick soul are in actuality His victories. That the moments I most want to hide from Him, to run from His chastening hand, are the moments when I most need to press into it...and in time, be healed. 
 God's promise even through the seasons of being exposed is still the same: "I will make all things new. And even this will be made beautiful!"
 Yes...and I accept it in my soul today. Looking out at the white world afresh, I thank Him. And I resign myself to His corrective strokes, wherever and whenever they may come.