I love winter.
As a child, I anxiously waited for my dad to arrive home from work during winter. “Can you get some kindling?” my dad would ask. Pride welled up within me as I ran outside to pick up small sticks. My dad went to our woodpile to collect larger logs that would keep the fire burning until late in the night.
As an engineer my dad meticulously built a fire placing each piece of wood on the fire-charred grate perfectly, I crumbled pieces of newspaper while my dad poked them under and beside the grate. With the strike of a match on the huge matchbox, the fire would roar to life. The warmth covered any cold sneaking under the door.
God allows winter in my life when cold winds of pain, struggle, and fear blow unmercifully against my heart.
I push forward not wanting to become frozen with bitterness towards my Father and others. He calls to me in the cold to draw close to Him, the Fire who never goes out. I must choose to walk alone with fear of soul-numbing frostbite or sit warmly beside the Maker of the cold.
God’s fire consumes all of my demands and expectations as His love warms my deepest parts. The bindings of the three men in the fiery furnace were seared, but they didn’t even smell like smoke when they walked out unharmed. Only God knows what is holding my heart bondage.
Winter is an inevitable season of life. I will embrace the warmth of my Lord as the winds blow.
Copyright © words and photographs by Jane Carole Stein