The icy snow was crunching beneath my boots as I strolled through the serenely hushed neighborhood powdered with a fresh dusting of snow. It was eerily beautiful in the glow of the streetlights. You’d never suspect that behind this picturesque scene of glistening icy tree branches and soft snow covered houses were hundreds of people trapped inside their homes, some also with the misfortune of no power, unable to venture out in the frozen world outside their front doors. This is Atalanta, not Minneapolis, where ice and small amounts of snow will paralyze an entire city for days. It was Icemageddon!
On day two of the great Atlanta freeze out, as a former Minnesotan, I began to ponder this amazing thing of how a layer of ice coating our roads, houses and neighborhoods, will bring hundreds of thousands of people to a complete lockdown. And I began to wonder, what are the things in our lives that can “freeze” us? Is it a hardened heart from years of bullying, loneliness, or pain? Feeling greatly disappointed and discontent in where life has taken us? Battle fatigued and angry that there seems to be no way out? Unforgiveness that has you locked in a keyless cell? Or fear of something that has a vice grip on your soul? All things that bring us to a place of being completely “frozen”, unable to move forward or break out of the prison it has us captive in.
I’ve experienced all those “frozen” states at various times and events in my life. Growing up being bullied and teased, feeling lonely and unwanted. Disappointed when various dreams were dashed or plans I desperately hoped for didn’t work out. Drudging through cancer treatment and depression, thinking life would never be “normal” again. Struggling with a difficult relationships with others and finding it nearly impossible to love or forgive. And often times in the crippling grip of fear of loss, lack of provision, failure, humiliation or rejection.
And then I am reminded of the verse, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18 ESV).
In every one of those situations, and those I will still encounter, I am set free through GOD’s perfect love for me. His unconditional, amazing, perfect love!
In a rather humorous SNL spoof of the first Atlanta “Snowmageddon” city shutdown, the commentator asks the Atlanta resident, Buford Calloway, how he finally got out of being trapped on the interstate.
Buford responds, “I was rescued!”
“By who?” the commentator asks.
“The sun!” Buford exclaims. “The clouds parted and the fair lady Georgia shone her golden radiance down upon the Yankee slush.”
Although humorous, it is a very real portrayal of exactly what liberated us from our recent 3 days of frozen captivity in our homes. As the sun broke through the clouds today, the great thaw began.
There’s a different “sun” that rescues us from the frozen regions of our lives. The SON! As His love breaks through the clouds and icy walls of our hearts and spirits, a defrosting begins. As we embrace HIS perfect love for us, fear is cast out and we are released from all that keeps us from living the full and abundant life He desires for us.
In my new favorite movie, Frozen, only through an “act of true love” could Anna’s life and the frozen kingdom be saved. It is the same in our lives. We can only be saved through God’s act of true love for us through His Son Jesus. Saved from ourselves, from sin and eternal condemnation, and from all that keeps us “frozen” in our lives; to a life of hope, love, and eternal joy with our Heavenly Father.
Who can resist the irresistible love of God? Let His love be that “act of true love” in your heart that will set you free from all fear and frozen places in your life!
Happy Valentines Day!