“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
This past winter was especially cold for us in Louisiana, and I was looking forward to the warmth of spring. Mia had a major surgery on March 27th of this year that required her to go straight from the recovery room into the intensive care unit. After 24 hours in intensive care, she was moved to a regular room to finish her hospital stay. If you’ve spent any time in a hospital, you know that they like to keep the temperature quite cool in order to stave off as many germs as possible. Jase is perfectly fine with the temperature. I, however, feel like a frozen popsicle. With all my attention focused on packing for Mia (we have to drive 4 ½ hours away), I forgot to pack thoroughly for myself. Thank goodness that a friend of mine volunteered to go buy me a sweatshirt from the local Wal-Mart, which helped quite a bit. On Day 3 of Mia’s hospital stay, she was beginning to want to get out of bed and walk a little. Right outside of her hospital room, we could see a little courtyard. The sun was shining very brightly, and it looked so inviting. I started to long for the feeling of that sun on my skin and the warmth that it would bring. I asked Mia if she wanted to walk outside and sit on the bench. Yes, she wanted to be outside just as much as I did. So, Jase and I helped her out of bed, and we all started walking down the hall with her IV unit in tow. Slow and easy. Trying to get to that courtyard. We asked a nurse how to get there, and she volunteered to walk us herself. We slowly made our way down a corridor, into an elevator, down another corridor to the exit. When we finally got to the exit, it was locked. It was a Sunday, and most of this surgical hospital was dormant except for the few recovery patients. It had taken us about 15 minutes to get to that door. I could see the bright sunshine through the glass right on the other side of the door, but I couldn’t get to it. It was so close! I wanted it so badly. I needed that sun! But it was no use. Back to the hospital room we went.
When we got home the following night, we still had not felt the sun. Mia had quite a lot of pain and severe swelling and needed my constant attention for the first few hours at home. The only time I left her side was to either refill her ice bags, fix her something to drink or sneak away to use the restroom. I even slept with her on our living room couch for the first week. My daughter needed me like she had never needed me before, and I was there. I wasn’t going anywhere. But I would look out into our backyard through our living room windows and see that sun. On Day 5, Mia was feeling a bit better and wanted to go outside. Praise Jesus! We slowly made our way out the back door onto the back porch and out onto the deck. Instantly, as soon as the sun hit my body, I felt complete warmth. It was a warmth I had longed for over the last few months but especially over past 5 days! It was a warmth I couldn’t get from the fire in my fireplace. I couldn’t get it from the warmest, softest blanket in my house. Only the sun itself could provide it.
When was the last time I longed for God’s Son in that way? It made me think. I was hungering for that sun outside. My body felt completely depleted without it. When have I hungered for the Son with that much intensity?
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 says, “…Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
God says, starting in verse 11, that choosing the Lord is a choice of life over death. He created my very body. Shouldn’t my body and mind always long for Him? But so many things can distract me and make me lose focus. When I’m hurting and disappointed, I should long for the warmth of His comfort. When I’m excited, joyful and happy, I should run to Him with thanksgiving!
As winter approaches, we will all start to see less and less of the sun and feel that warmth start to disappear. Millions of people suffer from what is known as the “winter blues” because of this very reason. The next time you feel a chill in the air (which is coming very soon for most of us) and you begin to miss the sun, think about God’s Son instead. Pick up your Bible or use a Bible app on your phone (there are many free ones) and turn to the book of John. It’s the story of Jesus’ life. Read a few verses, maybe while you’re eating lunch each day. Get to know God’s Son. He can bring you a warmth that not even the brightest sun can give.
Have a sunny week!
To order Missy’s book “Blessed, Blessed…Blessed”, please go to www.blessedblessedblessed.com