31 Degrees, Feels Like 24

In some ways, the weather reports are like women’s dress sizes.  I don’t understand why the number isn’t just whatever it is. With weather, if it’s 31, it’s 31 (give or take a few gusts of wind).  But instead, we are told what it really is (31) and what our bodies will think it is if their own eyeballs haven’t seen the number reported on the news.  Maybe it’s a nod towards sensationalism; we love dramatic weather!

In women’s clothing, 8 is the new 12.  So women don’t have to admit they wear a 12.  It’s all in the labels.

Yet this disparity provides me with a handy spiritual metaphor: there are the circumstances (the factual happenings) and then there is the matter of how we are doing in relation to trusting God.  It can be 31 degrees and feel like -20 or it can feel like a perfect 68 degrees.  In spiritual terms, the difference really does matter, for it’s possible to feel better than our circumstances would dictate or to experience joy in the midst of adversity.

Horatio Spafford was a wealthy businessman who lost a great fortune in the Chicago Fire of 1871 and then lost his four daughters in an accident at sea.  He penned the words to the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul” at sea in the same spot where they died when he traveled across the ocean to join his wife who had alerted him that she was “saved alone.”

It is a testimony to the ability of people to know that “it is well with (their) souls” even in the worst of human tragedy.  Read on:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin – oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin – not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend-
Even so – it is well with my soul.

Some days you have to sing it, not believing it much, for truly there is a reality beyond the more obvious realities.  Those are the days when it’s 31 degrees but feels like it’s 10.

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~ by Cary on January 22, 2009.

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