Psalm for a Winter's Day

Here’s a verse to meditate on that reminds us: God’s in charge. Let our perfect plans go.

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Posted in , Jan 14, 2014

Rick Hamlin, executive editor of Guideposts magazine.

I love running in the cold. I love the feel of a bracing wind on my face and a leafless landscape where vistas lie far and wide.

I love looking at the wildlife in the park, the birds that haven’t migrated, the skunk that survives on what mankind puts in trash bins. (One winter day I saw a skunk feasting on half a pizza.) The only thing I don’t like are patches of ice on the trail. I slow my run and leap gingerly around them, hoping not to land on my backside.

I always take a few verses of a psalm with me in my hand to read and meditate on when I run—my cold, gloved hands. Recently I’ve been reading Psalm 148 and when I looked down at what I’d copied, as I jogged around a patch of snow, I came to these apt verses, 17-18:

He gives snow like wool;
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;
who can stand against his cold?

So much of winter, at least in the snowy parts of the country, is a battle against the forces of nature. Shoveling snow, plowing it, sprinkling salt on ice, cancelling days of school, cancelling flights—I’d just been stranded at the airport with a cancelled flight. My reaction is usually irritation if not outright anger. But these verses offered another attitude: one of awe. After all, who made the snow? Who gives us the frost? Where does the ice come from? It’s an essential part of life.

Soon enough the snow will melt. Most of it has already—until we get another storm. But now I’ve got a new verse to meditate on, still part of Psalm 148. It reminds me: God’s in charge. Let my perfect plans go. Skip over that patch of ice, relish that cold breeze. Find something to do with that downtime at the airport. Maybe it’s a godsend. Soon enough the weather will change. It will always change:

He sends forth his word and melts them;
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.

Tags: Winter
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