We’re in middle of a Polar Vortex—exceptionally cold weather caused by frigid North Pole air sliding down into North America because of a weak jet stream (which normally brings more temperate air across the nation from west to east.)
It’s been snowing for the past couple days and is very cold today. The high is only supposed to get up to –11 degrees Fahrenheit. It could set a record for the lowest high temperature in this area. And, of course, nighttime and wind chill temperatures are even lower.
Officials are requesting that people stay home if they don’t absolutely have to go out. Schools are closed, and our evening church service was canceled last night.
The snow is deep and my husband got stuck yesterday turning into our driveway. Several neighbors were out shoveling snow and helped dig him out. He then spent nearly an hour cleaning off the driveway so he could get the car into the garage.
I don’t really enjoy this kind of ‘cold.’ It’s very penetrating. And, for the past several days, we’ve not seen the sun. When I pulled back the curtains yesterday and stood looking out the window, I could feel the cold penetrating through the glass.
But today, in spite of the frigid temperature, the sun is shining. It’s still low in the sky because it’s only a couple weeks past the winter solstice, but that has the advantage of allowing the sun’s rays to come in my window at a more direct angle.
I marvel at the warmth I feel from the rays of the sun, even though it passes through 93,000,000 miles of ‘cold’ to get here! How can that be?
I know that the sun’s light travels via light waves, and that the warmth comes from radiation, but it’s still a mystery to me.
As I stood there basking in the warmth of the sun in my living room, I felt a joy and a sense of awe. There are so many ‘mysteries’ in life—so many little joys to ponder.
Those moments reminded me of other mysteries—ones that science can’t explain—such as the mystery of God’s love. Just like the sun’s warmth coming through the cold to reach me, so God’s love travels through a cold and broken world and penetrates my soul. I feel its warmth bringing me joy, even in times of difficulties. I don’t know how it gets here, but I know it’s real—just as real as the warmth of the sun.
Another such mystery was recorded in the Bible when Jesus told Nicodemus (a Jewish leader) about the need to be born again in order the see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus, thinking of physical birth, questioned Jesus as to how this could be.
Jesus went on to explain that the rebirth he was talking about was a spiritual rebirth. He described it like this: “the wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Hmmm—this is indeed a great mystery, one that no one can scientifically explain. Yet, those who experience it know the reality of the inner peace it brings.
I’m so grateful that I don’t need to fully understand what makes these mysteries work in order to receive their benefits—the warmth of the sun on a bitterly cold day, the joy of God’s love even when I’m facing hard things in life, the inner peace that spiritual rebirth brings—all mysteries of our creator God.
The Apostle Paul sums up the great mysteries of God this way:
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33)
I continually stand in awe of God—this God of mysteries.