Slowly, slowly

21 Dec

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
—Isaiah 26:3-4

Britain is currently in the grip of another cold snap.  When I looked out the window on Saturday evening, I was reminded of reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter.  I was thinking of Laura having to walk to school in the cold and try as I might, I could never imagine the cold that she described in the book.  And then I was reminded of when Almanzo came to fetch Laura in his sled in a blizzard in These Happy Golden Years.  Then, I was probably 11 or 12, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how cold those winters were.

But quite recently, I’ve been able to experience freezing weather.  A few weeks ago, while waiting for the bus, and foolishly wearing just 1 pair of socks to protect my feet, I felt how painful it can be to have your appendages be so cold they were nearly frozen.  I knew how it felt to walk while your feet were numb but each step was agony.  It was also several weeks ago that I slipped on the ice and hurt my thigh muscles and my knee.

I can’t say that I have perfect faith.  I falter, very definitely.  But in these trying, snowy times, I find that a simple “Oh Lord protect me!” murmured under my breath or quickly prayed in silence is a balm to my troubled soul.  I find that I’m deathly afraid of falling.  Only just yesterday, I had to use the overpass to get to the train station.  The steps had slippery ice on them and I will admit to letting out a whimper of fear.  I closed my eyes, whispered my prayer and stepped as carefully as I could on the packed snow and clung to the railings for dear life.  I had visions of me slipping down the steps and doing myself serious damage but I stopped myself from thinking such thoughts.  I trusted God to hold me safe in the palm of His hands.  It was very harrowing but I managed to get up and over the overpass and make it to the train station with minimal scary moments.

Now some people might find it bizarre.  But trusting God with every step you take and every breath you take (every move you make…cue that song from The Police!) is the most basic manifestation of faith.

If I could, I would prefer not to go through the trauma of walking on ice ever again, but that is not possible as I will have to brave the snow to get to work because the Cold Snap is forecasted to last until after Boxing Day!  But like this morning, I woke up dreading the walk to the station.  This morning I chose a different route as God wouldn’t want me to put myself in danger.  When Jesus was tempted a second time, he rebuked the devil by saying that “…you should not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:5-7).  But as I got out the door, I whispered my prayer for protection, and for me to make it on the train (as I knew I was going to be quite some time walking to the station because I was taking the longer (but much safer!) route.

And I did!  I made it to the station.  In one piece.  No slips.  No trips.  No falls.

Thank you Lord!

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