I love winter. I love the crystal blue sky, the sound of frost crunching under my feet and the intensity of an icy-cold morning in December. I love the special kind of light that only appears at sunrise on these wintry days, bringing every colour to life as the gentle warmth of the sun penetrates the intense, dark grip of night-time.
If you’re anything like me, you probably also spend 5 minutes pretending to be a dragon or trying to make your breath make shapes as you breathe too! Its almost hypnotic watching your warm breath meet the invigoratingly cold air. But isn’t it interesting that this is the same air that’s around us all year round but somehow when it gets to winter we notice it like we are seeing it for the first time?
God is like that too. He is always there, but sometimes we just see Him more clearly.
In fact, there is never a moment that we are not in His presence. In Psalm 139 the psalmist writes: “Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there….”. It’s so true! Just like the air around us every day, God is always with us. I love being reminded of that over the Christmas season as I breathe out the warm air from my lungs and watch it come alive and almost dance in front of my face each morning. Through this simple action I’m reminded that when I speak out my problems to God, His presence meets my words and my prayers take on new power; His power.
Indeed, further on in Psalm 139 it says: “Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Like that early morning sunrise, His light brings life and colour to dark worries and His presence guides us and reveals His power. We need to acknowledge His presence and breathe out our troubles and concerns, share with Him our hopes and dreams, engage with Him on our passions and joys and trust that just like the air around us, He is always there for us!
Perhaps what makes me even more excited this time of year, though, is when I breathe the cool, icy air back in! As the freezing air hits my lungs, I am reminded that he also dwells within me. He is the air in my lungs, the oxygen in my blood, the warmth in my hands. Just as I breathe out my prayers, I breathe in his presence and I see both the things around me change and things within me change. What an amazing God!
So next time you step out of your house and see the warm air of your lungs come into contact with the brittle winter air, or take that first deep breath of winter, be reminded that our God is all around us, that He is within us and that He will never leave or reject us, no matter how recently (or not!) we last spoke with Him.