He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. (Psalm 147:15)
Tonight it will be 40 degrees warmer in our kitchen freezer than it is outside here in Minneapolis. The high temperature tomorrow will be five degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). We receive this from the Lord’s hand.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
This is the kind of cold you do not play with. It kills.
When I came to Minnesota from South Carolina, I dressed for it. But I did not prepare life-saving support in my car in case of a break down. One Sunday night on the way home from church, in this kind of cold, my car died. This was before cell phones. I had two small children in the car.
There was no one on this road. I suddenly realized, this is dangerous. Soon it was very dangerous. No one came.
I saw in the distance through a fence a house. I am the father. This is my job. I climbed the fence and ran to the house and knocked on the door. They were home. I explained that I had a wife and two small children in the car, and asked if they would let us in. They did.
This is a kind of cold you do not play with.
It is one more way God says, “Whether hot or cold, high or deep, sharp or blunt, loud or quiet, bright or dark . . . don’t toy with me. I am God. I made all these things. They speak of me, just like the warm summer breezes do, and the gentle rains, and the soft moonlit nights, and the lapping of the lakeside, and lilies of the field and the birds of the air.”
There is a word for us in this cold. May the Lord give us skin to feel and ears to hear.