In our area, this past winter seemed like a long time coming, but once it started, it seemed that it would never stop. During the month of February, we had very little snow, but bitterly cold winds with low temperatures to match. Many of us here become "snowbirds", who, while we long for spring's coming, travel to warmer climates. I am personally looking forward to a cruise to the southern Caribbean as a break away from the north.
As I was doing a little preparation for the trip, I reflected on the time many years ago when I visited the Holy Land. It brought back many fond memories, and I began to think about the things that happened in biblical days at this time of year. The first that came to mind was the dinner in Bethany when Jesus was surrounded with friends who came to see Him.
John 12:3 – Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (NIV)
When the disciples were indignant at the waste, Jesus replied, "When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial" (Matthew 26:12 NIV). Jesus already knew about the tough times that He was facing.
Then I thought of the last time Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover together.
Luke 22:20-21 – After the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table." (NIV)
I remembered that after this, they crossed over the Kidron Valley and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus struggled with doing God's will, which involved enduring betrayal, false accusations, mocking, scourging, and finally, the horrors of crucifixion.
Any afflictions that I myself will face when I return from my cruise are so light by comparison with His. Like winter, tough times come to us all, but I believe that in whatever God has in store for us, He will also provide the strength and the means to overcome — just as Jesus overcame death and rose to victorious life.
John 12:36a – Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of the light. (NIV)
Knowing that Jesus died for me, for you, and for all who trust in His light is what gives us hope!
Prayer: Most gracious heavenly Father, we come to You this day giving thanks for all that You have done for us. Though we sometimes find life hard to bear, give us the strength that we need in our weakness to carry on, and we will give You all the glory. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "To God Be The Glory" (Lyrics)