A cold wind was blowing and a frosty day ensued. Snow and ice lay around in pockets since it had fell. Not much sunlight had peered out of the clouds, if it did it was for but a moment.
Have you ever been been up a cold mountain? Perhaps on a warm day, but when you got nearer the top you see there are still pockets of ice and snow that have remained. It is a constant cold temperature up on the hills and this keeps the snow from melting.
On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day – a day known only to the Lord – with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
What a strange concept; neither sunlight nor cold, but frosty darkness. When you think about it, it seems quite terrifying. If you read on in the chapter of Zechariah 14 you probably will be terrified and sickened by the descriptions of what happens to the opponents of the Lord.
Before Jesus came into my life, ice remained in my heart from past encounters, but afterwards it doesn’t take route. But we must still accept that there may be ice left over that is high up on the mountain that is hard to reach and forgive those that have offended us so as to thaw the pain and turn our whole hearts into warm mountain tops.
Anyway the day felt a bit like a frosty darkness, with the biting wind and the frost, even the lights in the distance seemed to be faint. But of course we have a warm home to return to, and when I return home it always seems like a warmth, a feeling of returning to a safe place. You could say when I arrive home in the evening, there is light – my family.
We must pray for the day of the Lord to come because He is the only one who can solve this earths problems.
Having read the news about a child who read an email claiming to be from the police saying he would have to pay huge sums for looking at indecent images, and because he was autistic he took it seriously and ended his own life. This sort of story just highlights the pain in our world. There is no soft way of saying that our world is broken, but what is the answer. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, dying for us and rising from the dead undoubtedly.
But also prayer is one of the strongest defences against this worlds sin. It is very often that the evening is the time when I will spend the most precious time with the Lord in prayer. Admittedly some nights and not as long as I had hoped, in fact every night is not as long as I would like, but I muddle through. God would like a great man of prayer, so I endeavour to keep at it, fumbling through my words and thoughts. But then God is not looking for eloquence – just truth from the heart.
It has been those moments when I have really connected that, to coin a northern phrase “stuff happens”.
Children are so fragile in many ways and a cruel word here and there can have a huge impact, especially from their peers. I remember a teacher telling me that I was thick and would never amount to anything. Back then I just felt anger towards this teacher, but now I have accepted it as a few words spoken in the heat of the moment, and forgiven them. It took me a long time to forgive, and I only could do this after Jesus came into my life.
The north wind brings forth rain,
And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.
We must guard what we say and think about every word in case we offend and cause people to harbour anger and ill feelings towards us. Thinking of Jesus and at his trial and crucifixion, it may seem strange to us in our time that he would be arrested, flogged and crucified, but we must remember the context that he lived in. He doesn’t seem to have said anything untoward, apart from saying that He was God. But because of their hardness of heart and the unwillingness to listen and just test the facts – they condemned him there and then.
The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
So let us not hastily condemn anyone who confronts us, or snap back with clever retorts, but spend time listening, and as the first words of Jesus state in John’s gospel – ask “What do you seek?”
I pray for all the children we meet that we may be attentive listeners and not condemn them before they speak.
I pray that all the children have a place to go to each night that is warm and safe.
I pray that we each open our hearts further to Jesus through prayer and glorifying the Lord our God.