Monday, December 7, 2015

THE FROZEN PLACES


Brrr…

It's cold outside!

We were out of town during the Thanksgiving holiday.  And upon our return last week, we had to stop at a few places before we actually arrived home.

(You know, the usual – market, mail, and Mexican food).  

Each time we were greeted with the words, "Did you get snow?"

Actually, I suppose we did.

Though there wasn't much evidence of it left!

Whatever frosty flakes fell while we were out of town were now mostly melted – with the exception of a few icy patches stubbornly refusing to thaw.

I'm thinking about those places.

Why don't they melt?

Sometimes they stick around for days, long after everything else has melted.


I'm Google-obssessedan info nerd, curious, so I looked it up to see if there's a scientific explanation for this.  And yes, there is!

"An interesting thing about snow and ice is that they are very good at absorbing long-wave radiation…If atmospheric conditions are such that long-wave radiation can easily escape or leave an area, that area will experience radiational cooling even if the sun is shining and the temperatures are warming up.  We can see this in the snowmelt…Even though the air is warm enough to melt the snow, in [some areas] very little if any will often melt because that snow is cooling radiationally."


Hmmm.

I sorta get that??

But even if I don't understand all the scientific intricacies of snowmelt, I have noticed two things that all these patches have in common.

For one thing, they're always in the shade.

I see them in cold ruts by the side of the road.  Or under trees with heavy branches.  Or in forgotten corners lurking under our stairs or decking.

They are found in dark places, away from the light and warmth of the sun.

I've also noticed that these patches are found in areas where there's no greenery surrounding them.

Areas that are bereft of plants or shrubs.

They are found in rocky or stony places, places where nothing grows.

Cold, lonely, forgotten places.

Frozen places.


As I gazed out my window the other day, and pondered these places, I realized something...

Sometimes these places exist in our own hearts.

Dark, rocky, stony places.

Lonely and forgotten places.

Places where something has gone cold and dead.


The causes can be many…

Maybe it's the long-ago, or not-so-long-ago hurt of rejection or betrayal. When your heart was shattered by someone you trusted.

When you said to yourself, "I'll never let anyone get that close again."

And something froze.


Or maybe it's the crushing blow of failure.  A mistaken decision.  Or something you did and shouldn't have, or didn't do but should have.  When you were overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy.

When you said to yourself, "I'm a loser." 

And something froze.


Or maybe it's the gnawing ache of estrangement from someone you once loved.  When the seeds of bitterness took root deep inside, strangling and choking.

When you said to yourself, "I'll never forgive them."

And something froze.


Or maybe it's the death of a dream you once had.  Of something you'd do or be.  When something you wanted with your whole heart was smothered by the realities of life, and it never happened.  

When you said to yourself, "I give up.  I'll never try again."

And something froze.


Are you like me?

Do you open your heart, but only so far

Do you surrender your life to the Lord, but only so far?

Are you like me?

Stubbornly clutching deep and secret and hidden places?  Places where something cold and stony resides?

Places imprisoned in shady darkness, where nothing at all ever grows?

Frozen places where hope has died?


Oh friend, let's look deeply at ourselves, deeply within ourselves.

And let's not be afraid to see what's there.

God already knows.

He knows.

And He loves those deep and secret and hidden places.  

Places where something cold and stony resides.

Lonely and forgotten places.

Frozen places where hope has died.


For He loves to thaw them out with the Son, with the Light of the World, with the warmth of His Spirit.


In this season of Advent, I am thinking of another place, hidden from the eyes of the world.  A lonely, forgotten, stony place.  A place where the deep darkness of the world was invaded by the bright Light of the Son.

A place where the cold and icy power of evil and sin was overcome.


A secret place where Hope was born.

And frozen places began to melt…


Are you willing to meet Him there?






In the frozen places of my heart
Where my hidden pain doth hide,
Shine Your light, bring Your warmth
Let Your hope once more reside.

Melt the icy, stubborn parts
Where I have ceased to be,
Bring me back, restore my breath
Give me life, abundantly.

(Sharon Kirby, 12/6/15) 




C. S. Lewis, who described himself as a most reluctant convert, once described his conversion in these words:

"I felt as if I were a man of snow at long last beginning to melt.  The melting was starting in my back – drip-drip and presently trickle-trickle."
("Surprised by Joy")

It's interesting that Lewis chose this word picture of snow melting.  It's a good one, suggesting how the bitter coldness of one's heart can be changed and transformed into a vibrant heart for God.

Later, Lewis once again used the imagery of snow in his beloved classic, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."  When Narnia came under the rule of the wicked White Witch, she turned it into a place where it was "always winter but never Christmas."  When the snow of Narnia begins to melt, it's an apt metaphor for how the "winter in our hearts" can once again experience the springtime of hope when a Savior invades our world.


"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."

("The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe")



"And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.  I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart." (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT)

"'I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior – all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness.'" (John 12:46, AMP)

"'…I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12, NIV)

"In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:4-5, NIV)


"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; 
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone…
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; 
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, 
and his name shall be called 
Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, 
Prince of Peace.  
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, 
on the throne of David and over his kingdom, 
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness 
from this time forth and forevermore." 

(Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, ESV)



Do you have a *frozen place* that Jesus needs to melt?



Linked with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, SMALL WONDER, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, GRATEFUL HEART MONDAY, WORDS WITH WINTER, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, UNITE LINKUP, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, RA RA LINKUP, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, INTENTIONAL TUESDAY, WORSHIPFUL WEDNESDAY, TELL HIS STORY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, WISE WOMAN, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, WAITING ON WEDNESDAY, JOYHOPELIVE LINKUP, THE (NOT JUST) HOMEMAKING PARTY, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, EVERYDAY JESUS, GRACE AT HOME, SHINE LINKUP, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, EVERYDAY TESTIMONY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYSFAITH FILLED FRIDAY, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, FAITH & FELLOWSHIP, GRACE & TRUTH, ESSENTIAL FRIDAYSDANCE WITH JESUS, TGI SATURDAYS, LIVING PROVERBS, WEEKEND WHISPERS, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, GIVE ME GRACE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY



BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

32 comments:

  1. That was interesting about why those icy places take a bit longer (if ever it seems) to melt and then of course your observation of those places was a good one with where they were located; and then of course your analysis of it with frozen places in our heart was very spot on. I have lots of frozen places I need Jesus to melt. Maybe my word for 2016 will be defrost and I'll start allowing Jesus to melt them all for me.

    So much wisdom here Sharon.

    betty

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  2. You know I will read this again. Excellent...

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  3. Thanks Sharon. This was interesting and I always love your spiritual analogy.

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  4. Sharon, your words gel together into the most unique and beautiful piece. I learn something new and then I receive wisdom from on High to ponder. Thanks, ~ linda

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  5. FROZEN ... oh yeah, Sharon, I love this!!! especially with the addition of CS Lewis and the scriptures plus the original 'heart of stone' (photo and poem) by Sharon. Thank you. Sometimes I feel frozen like paralyzed (unable to move forward or out of ones'self or comfo' mode) another example to your really great ones. Also I just happen to love the movie "Frozen" which I thought this was going to be about but you always have such introspective spiritual depth and bless me so. Love you, ~ Peggy (melting in the heat down here, huh?)

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  6. Sharon, I love this analogy of our "frozen" hearts to the snow that refuses (seemingly forever) to melt. Ironically, or maybe not, my post for tomorrow deals with us allowing God to soften our hearts when they have turned as "rigid and unfeeling as a rock." He can and He will melt away our snows and warm our hearts when we let Him.
    Blessings always!

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  7. what a rich and meaningful post, and the way you bring us from the actual melting snow, to the frozen part in the shade, to the frozen parts of ourselves..and finally to Christ, who melts all our frozen parts! Great use of C.S Lewis' quotes! Really enjoyed this today! Visiting from #smallwonder

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  8. A few years ago the weather cleared up, the sun came out and I decided to ride. It was going along smoothly when I came upon a shady patch in the road. I decided (wisely) to get off the bike and turn around. Smart move. While I stood on solid asphalt, I turned my bike around and got into the shade (a solid sheet of ice). If I had ridden onto it I would have been toast. Yeah, those shady, dark areas are a problem Good point made sharon.

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  9. First, a "thank you" for your faithful visits & precious comments at my place. I so appreciate your perspectives.

    As for frozen places, I've been the harbinger of freezes & thaws in equal measure over the years. It's as if there are both warm and cold chapters to my life, but never lukewarm ones. Hallelujah! I'd also like to think there are more of the former as compared to the latter. Double hallelujah!

    Blessings,
    Kathleen

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  10. Not to disappoint, (as if) another nail-on-the-head post. But they all are. Your poem, also so perfect and fitting. Wanna come sit by the fireplace with me so we can melt a little...and talk...then melt some more? Then maybe we can watch Narnia :) What a gift you have, my friend...love ya :)

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  11. Sharon, what a great post. I'm praying that God will reveal those cold stony places in my own heart. I want to be open toward His warmth, and unhindered by the ice that comes from saying, "Never . . . " and from holding onto hurt over holding onto God.

    Beautiful post! I'm visiting from Purposeful Faith. :)

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  12. Sharon, I love this Holy Spirit-anointed message! I am sure we can all relate and I'm triple sure we all need the Light of the World to melt the frozen places in our souls. I couldn't help but think about the year I moved here from the hot desert. Snow, ice to contend with once again and I immediately found work in Sedona. As I drove into town, I had to be extra careful of the spots that were barren on the main highway because of black ice. It is so deceiving! Spiritually it cross references the deception of this New Age capital of the world to me. I'll be thinking about your post and doing some soul searching!

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  13. Warm thoughts for days growing increasingly cold and dark. Thank you.

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  14. This sure touched a chord in me. I thank God that he sheds HIS light on those frozen places, and I love C.S.Lewis on this too. He is melting those icy patches, I see it.. and even then, a freeze comes along, and He begins the process anew. Best of all, He is never finished and never gives up. This was a good one Sharon! :)

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  15. Good science lesson, but the C.S. Lewis quote and Narnia connection really hit home with me. That may need to be playing in my DVD later today. You always share such penetrating truths with such powerful visual connections. So blessed by you, my friend. Hope you are blessed this season. Be ye safe on your mountain under all the expected snows!
    Joy,
    Kathy

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  16. Beautiful. This stirred my heart today. I loved C.S. Lewis books, I have all of them. Jesus, our sweetest gift, has been given to us and we have been changed forever.

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  17. Oh yes... I loved this post! Such a great visual for what so often goes on within us! (and I love that Mexican food stop was a given on the way home!) ;)

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  18. I've always wondered why snow doesn't melt when it gets hot too. And now I know! (Sort of--ha. I don't fully understand the scientific part either.) Your analogy is such a good one. We all have some frozen spots that need thawing out. Thanks, Sharon, for shining light on that.

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  19. Well that was a little more than a needle poke... You're right of course, and great analogy by the way. We harbor the frozen and cold places refusing to let the Light of the world melt it, that ill understood gift of free will again.

    Our peace depends on Him in us. The frozen places do damage inside us and the Light can't shine.

    Great post, Sharon. I hear you. Thanks.

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  20. Your words are beautiful. Thank you.

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  21. This is so good.....you are so gifted, I hope you have plans to write a book! Great analogy.

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  22. well, this is just fantastic writing, I love the little poem you did, and I'm like you..curious..haha...oh so many little frozen places that need to thaw...thank you for the reminder...visiting you from sitting with friends...loved this post

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  23. I really enjoyed this analogy. I also appreciate that the scientific explanation was also a bit difficult for you to comprehend. I like your explanation oh so much better! We do have to be intentional in letting our shady, frozen regions of our soul reach the light. Thank you so much for your words! #livefree friend

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  24. That snow that refused to melt, found a secluded place in the shadows where nothing grows. This is so fitting of the dark places in our lives where we hide those things we think are forgiven, and here they come again not wanting to melt. I love your poem. The photo - makes me shiver from the cold, but I am so glad Jesus can warm those frozen places and renew with in us a right spirit. As always an awesome post. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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  25. Dear friend! What an amazing post! This one might just be my favorite of yours so far! It hit nerve after nerve. I am consistently amazed at how God continually enables you to see such profound truth in commonplace events and situations. You have a real gift...and another gift is to be able to express it here like you do. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me and to so many others. I trust all is well in your corner and that you are enjoying this wonderful season! Sending you much love and many hugs!

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  26. This is a very cool analogy! I'm a google-obsessed nerd myself, always asking questions. :)

    I'm asking myself...not google...what places in my heart need to get out of the shadows and into the light.

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  27. You are gifted at using ordinary things to drive home extraordinary spiritual truth!

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  28. Sharon, WOW! I love the visual imagery in your writing, especially enjoyed your beautiful poem/prayer...since most of us are visual learners, it's so good to have an analogy like the melting snow to visualize what God is longing to do in our hearts. Thank you so much for this encouragement. Many blessings to you.

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  29. sharon, i'll be thinking about the frozen places this week. why they are there. allowing GOD's light to thaw them. great post:)

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  30. My heart has some cold and dead places. I pray they will thaw someday. Thank you for sharing your awesome words of encouragement.

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  31. This was so touching. Yes, I think I have some cold and dead places as well - time to shine some light there. I'll be praying about this now.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

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  32. Thanks for sharing this beautiful message with #SocialButterflySunday! Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and hope to see you link up again this week :)

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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