This time of year has gotten a bad reputation. Sure it's cold, leaving your skin chapped and forcing you to put on more layers than an onion. Of course, the snow and ice team up to bring anxiety for your safety or irritation from your morning commute as its slowed to a near crawl as your fellow drivers who have never seen a snow flake in their lives insist on using this time to take in the view. Your plans get cancelled, so you have to find indoor activities. Until you decide to combat the mountain of snow that has formed outside of your house with a shovel, only to see all that progress lost by morning. Yes, many can see the bad in winter after Christmas, but I'd like to take a moment and defend this poor, unpopular season. We can't forget all the good things that come along with winter.
First, there are the wonderful foods that are just not the same in the summer months. I don't know about you, but a nice hearty bowl of soup or chili just isn't the same in the dead of summer. Curling up with a good book and a mug of hot cocoa that warms your chilled bones as the snow glistens through the window is a luxury you can't find year long.
Another thing that I personally love are the blankets. After you have been through that awful commute, you come inside and are sure to find frost bitten hands when you remove your gloves. After all those rough edges that winter brings your day, there is just something so wonderful about climbing in bed at night and covering up. Sure, you are able to use the thin, malnourished blankets of summer that are sure to find arms and legs extruding from them to combat the heat, but the winter brings out the full thick blankets to guarantee a warm, peaceful sleep.
Personally, I not only have my normal comforter, but I bring out the big guy - a king size comforter so thick I risk near suffocation from it's weight alone. Each night, I wrap myself up so tight in that cover that only my nose is free, to allow an air passage. When I am completely covered, no winter chill can find me, the icy roads and shovels are a distant memory as I am wrapped in the peace of my covering.
Psalms 91:4 says: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler”
Sometimes the bible paints pictures that only a good imagination can enjoy and this verse is a great example. God is like a giant father eagle. A strong glorious fighter with a keen eye to watch for enemies that would even consider coming near, all the while you are safely tucked under his wing, completely covered in knowing that no harm can come your way. When I read this verse and I think about that image, its easy to remember where my trust should be. There is absolutely nothing that can take away the covering of protection that only He can provide. We can rest assured that he is going to stand guard against every thing that comes against us.
No matter the size of the issue that is pressing down on us, we have nothing to fear as we are tucked in close to God and He is on the job. We can be warm and cozy as we are blanketed in His love and peace, trusting that He knows exactly what needs to be done. So as Jack Frost continues to not only nip at your nose, but tackle you to the ground, you can be warmed by the peace and love of God, knowing that He will wrap you up close and cover you with His protection.
Sister Amber Klein
Genesis 1:1-2 NKJV -  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
When we look back at creation's story, we see the beginning of life as we know it. Everything we see here on earth had it's beginning in the book of Genesis. When God first began with earth it was "without form and void". It was there, but mostly in concept and imagination and wasn't very useful yet. The earth, as of Genesis 1:2, was just a glimmer in God's eye. It was the beginning of something that would eventually be beautiful, but there wasn't any real, tangible life yet - no beauty that could be seen. However, as we read the last sentence of this verse, we see something extraordinarily beautiful happining; "the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters". Earth didn't look like much at first glance, but the Spirit of God was there, waiting for the most opportune time to step in and make something amazing out of the formless void.
I beleive that this same scene is being played out in many lives today. You are expecting something from God. You are anticipating that something great will happen, but it still seems formless, empty, and dark. As time continues to pass, you don't see things changing the way you expect so you get impatient and begin to lose hope. "Something should have changed by now. I don't think God is going to do anyting about this situation. Is He even listening to my prayers?" Maybe you were expecting something in 2016 and now, as we step into 2017, you are skeptical that God is going to come through. It may come in 2017 and it may not, but take comfort in knowing that God is hovering over your situaion waiting for the perfect time to act.
There is a perfect time for everything, but that perfect time is determined by God. The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that "To everything [there is] a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:" (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV) and 2 Peter 3:8 says: "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day [is] as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." This means that it probably won't happen when we want it to (and probably now how we wanted it to), but it will happen when the timing is just right. Trust God's timing.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV -  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Don't give up on God. He has not forgotten about you, He is not punishing you, and He has heard your prayers. It may seem like things are empty, dark, and formless right now, but something beautiful is happening. Keep trusting Him and relying on His plan and timing. You may not be able to see any progress with your eyes, but exercise some faith and realize that He is hovering over your situation, putting everything in place for the miraculous to happen. Keep praying, keep beleiving, keep sharing the gospel with the lost because you will reap a great harvest if you hang in there.
Galatians 6:9 NKJV -  And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
God IS doing something on your behalf and when it's complete you will be blown away by it's beauty and perfection. Most of all you will marvel at how everything came together at just the right time, and you will rejoice that you didn't let impatience steal away this great blessing.
Yours for a beautiful new year,
Patrick A. Thomson