Iowa was in the deep freeze this weekend and the ground creaked and crunched as we walked upon it. The cold wind that steals your breath away has calmed again to stillness and the temperatures begin to rise ever so slowly. The earth seems barren and lifeless, covered in snow and frost. Yet, it is beautiful as it reflects the glimmers of a sunrise and sunset, waiting like an artist's canvas to be transformed in the light.
At night the snow cover glows in the light of the moon and stars, eerily lighting your path and allowing you to see as in daylight. The stars seem to glow in brilliance, reminding me of the light the shepherds and wise men must have seen so long ago. It makes me want to stop and study the constellations that God has set upon the night sky. The earth seems so small and the world so vast in God's creative hands.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign which will not be destroyed." (Isaiah 55:8-13 NIV).
Hope lies beneath the frozen tundra, awaiting God's voice to awaken the earth into song of new life. So we will wait impatiently for the warmer days to return and watch closely for the signs of new life which God has promised.