What does that look like?
Let’s imagine that it looks like a day in the dead of winter. You don’t have a garage, so when you go out to your car, you find it is about 10 degrees Fahrenheit inside. You bundle up and bring your toasty heating pad, freshly microwaved, or maybe a small blanket to sit on to lessen the shock of the cold car. Then you turn on the heat full blast. You are in a hurry and don’t have time to warm up the car, so you brace yourself and off you go. The heat is on, but it isn’t immediately warm. And even as the blasting air becomes warm at its source, it is blowing so much frigid air that you cannot feel the warmth right away.
Or perhaps it looks like a day on the verge of spring. The crocuses have just started blooming, a tiny splash of purple in a sea of brown with splotches of green. You wake up and check the temperature outside — 58 degrees Fahrenheit. You take along a jacket just in case and head to the park for a walk. The wind is blowing from the south, kicking up little peaks on the lake, but that combination of moisture and cloud cover converge to present a bit of a chill on what could otherwise have felt like a warm day.
Or maybe you’re in the middle of a winter of the soul. Everything in your heart is broken. If someone were to ask you what color your heart is, you would have to say dark gray. People try to say warm words to encourage you, but it isn’t enough. You need to be surrounded by, even immersed in, some serious heat.
Or it could be that you have been passing through the longest winter of the soul in your life, and spring is in sight. Things are looking up finally. You see a splash of yellow or red, pinpoints of beauty popping up before you in the gray that has been your heart for the past few months or years. But even as your heart warms, miniature storms whip up in the recesses of your mind that bring a chill to your heart and moisture to your eyes. You need the sun to come out and dry up the tears and chase away the fears and pain. You need something to make the storms subside and protection from the winds that blow.
God has provided one amazing paradox to provide the warmth for our souls that we need. That phenomenon needs more than one word in the English language to describe it. It is unconditional, sacrificial, committed, covenant love. And, of course, since God is the provider, He is also the source.
He is the One who mercifully forgives when we come to Him with a contrite heart. He is the One who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3) He it is who calms the storms with His “Peace, be still!” He is the One who puts our tears in His bottle and records them in His book. (Psalm 56:8 NASB)
- He is Jehovah Rapha, The LORD my Healer.
- He is my Hiding Place (Psalm 32:7)
- My Fortress (Psalm 144:2)
- My Strong Tower (Psalm 61:3)
- My Refuge and Strength, a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1)
- My Dwelling Place (Psalm 91:1,9)
- My Friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24)
- My Shelter in a time of storm (Isaiah 25:4 & 32:2)
- Him whom my soul loves (Song of Solomon 3:2)
And His banner over me is Love. (Song of Solomon 2:4)
And where do we find Him?
He reveals these characteristics about Himself to us in His Word.
May we say with the Psalmist:
“I long for Your salvation, O Lord,
And Your law is my delight.” Psalm 119:174 NASB
“Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 NASB