Comfort and Warmth
“Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walk in his ways. You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.”
They say that the temperature won’t get out of the 20s today. It’s cold outside! I guess we should expect that since its January. However, days like today make me rather grateful that I am inside looking out at the sun shining off of the snow in the yard.
Days like today are days that make a warm fire and even an afghan blanket welcome additions to the home. We have several blankets throughout our living room and it is typical for our family to be curled up beneath them. Some might accuse me of keeping the house a bit chilly, but I always think you can put on another layer of clothing - or even an afghan.
I don’t know what it is about an afghan that makes me feel comfortable and content. Maybe its that they’ve always been around my home. I remember having them as a child. They were always draped over the couch and the chairs in our living room during the winter. I think part of my love of them is that several were made by my grandmothers and the memory of them warms my heart.
In a devotional this morning, I began with a prayer.
“Almighty God, you who continually call your people to yourself, draw us by the power of the Holy Spirit into such a warm and binding relationship that we may faithfully follow you all the days of our lives. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” (A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants, Upper Room, 1983)
As I was reading that prayer and invocation, my memory immediately went back to a time when a cousin of mine was battling breast cancer. It was a difficult battle for her and for her entire family. Throughout her ordeal with cancer, everyone in the family and in her community poured out fervent prayers for her healing and strength.
What was remarkable about that journey was the way in which she received those prayers and the way in which prayer touched her. I remember words that she shared in her Christmas card that year: “Thank you for the blanket of prayer that you have laid over me this past year.” It was in that blanket that she received healing.
Our relationship with Jesus also is like a warm blanket. As the prayer from the morning devotion said, the Holy Spirit is able to bring us into a warm and binding relationship with Jesus. There is something comforting in that relationship.
Yet sometimes we choose to go without it, and it can be quite cold.
Throughout the Psalms, we read the phrase, “Happy are those . . .” I imagine that you could finish that any number of ways. Happy are those who allow God’s embrace to warm them. Happy are those who fear him. Happy are those who follow the law of the Lord. Happy are those who allow God to cover them in a blanket of grace!
Our lives are so much different when we blanket ourselves in the mercy and the love of God. It really is much different when we allow God to embrace us and shelter us in care. My prayer today will be that you cover yourself in the Grace of God and feel that warmth and binding relationship with Christ.