Monday, December 20, 2010
SUDDENLY IT’S WINTER
As much as I enjoy autumn, my favorite season, I pray for a hard winter before the season changes so I’ll have a good excuse to stay home and write. Without fail, winter appears almost magically and I accomplish lots of writing. This winter came suddenly, in the form of a big storm that brought 10 inches of snow and cold temps. Another little storm is forecast this week. Being at the edge of the famous “snow belt,” I expect even more. That means, of course, that for the next three or four months, I’ll be writing my own snow storms—of words. Some will come in flurries, others in hard-driven blizzards of description and dialog and emotion. I must not delay, for suddenly it’s winter.
Greetings and merry Christmas! May yours be filled with every blessing God has in store for you. Sally
by Sally Bair
SUDDENLY HE COMES
A woman prays for quick protection when a deer heads toward her car. Suddenly, the deer turns its head with a jerk and runs in another direction. A child cries in the store because she can’t find her mommy. Suddenly, there’s Mommy, ready to pick her up and wipe her tears. All of us have experienced suddenlys in our lives. Some may have been unpleasant, like the boss’s pink slip. But many have brought happiness, such as a marriage proposal, a raise in pay, or an unexpected gift.
Some biblical suddenlys started out with the unpleasantness of fear but turned into great happiness. The group of shepherds outside Bethlehem, for example, were peacefully and quietly minding their own business when, at the sudden sight of an angel, they trembled with fear. What a shock it must have been when “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel ….” Their fear changed to great joy when they realized their Messiah had been born.
Surprise, fear, and then joy came to them suddenly—even as they might have been praising God and anticipating the Messiah’s birth while watching over their sheep before the angels appeared.
The word suddenly appears in the Bible numerous times. The Gospels record Paul’s conversion on his way to Damascus, when a “sudden” light came from heaven. The book of Acts records the dramatic account of Pentecost: “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came ….” (Acts 2:2) Later, Paul and Silas, while sitting in prison after being beaten by guards, experienced a “sudden,” violent earthquake that shook the prison doors open and loosened everyone’s chains. The suddenness of the experience immediately followed their praying and singing hymns. God’s sudden answers and presence often immediately follow our praise and worship of Him.
The Bible speaks about Jesus’ second return to earth in sudden terms, too. “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ….” (2 Peter 3:10)
Paul talks about being prepared—anticipating—the Lord’s return. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1 Corinthians 15:51)
Lord, as we celebrate Your first “sudden” appearance on earth, we await with joy and anticipation, Your second arrival. Help us to be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that (our) labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:59) We ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.