“For you have tried us, O God. You have refined us as silver is refined.” Psalm 66:10

Settling In

Old Man Winter has us tightly in his grip, with temperatures frolicking around the zero degree mark, and predictions of a giant snowstorm, followed by more bitter cold. With the exception of one bold and beautiful cardinal that perches occasionally on the bare branches of my Lilac tree, its feathers puffed up against the cold, my backyard presents a pretty bleak landscape. But no matter where we are located there will be extremes of weather of one kind or another. Jesus endured the scorching heat of the desert, and it was there that he withstood the temptations of the devil. After much prayer and fasting he emerged strong and ready to begin his ministry. The “desert” of winter can be an opportunity to test our mettle and to build up our inner strength. It is a good time to hone in on our spiritual lives, to seek God’s presence, and to try to discern what God may have in store for us. It is an invitation to hunker down and stay warm. The winter will pass, the earth will warm up, the flowers will bloom, and all things will be made new. It happens every year and it will happen again. And we can count on it.

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