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Listen while you read: "Come Christians Join To Sing"1 (Lyrics)
Here in the Georgian Bay area of southern Ontario, Canada, winter can be very dreary. On one such day recently, there was a gloomy sky, and sulky, sodden clouds drizzled misty rain off and on all day. At times, it was quite windy. The lawns were soggy, and at the lower end of our garden, there were puddles of water and mud. It was not a nice day at all.
At the same time, we were facing a twenty-eight-day lockdown. The spreading of the coronavirus had caused the authorities to make this decision. For many people, it was an unwelcome situation that simply added to the already gloomy circumstances.
Early the next morning, I looked out of our living room window and saw that some four inches of snow had covered everything. There was a light dusting on the bare branches of the two maple trees in front of the house. The branches of the evergreen tree behind the house were decorated with snow as if done by an artist. It was a stunning winter wonderland. The whole dreary scene of the day before was covered with beautiful snow.
Then, different events, some far away, others near us, made me think of the dreary situation in the world today: millions of refugees and displaced people; people starving in war-torn countries; political and racial unrest in various countries; people unable to afford groceries because of the pandemic. By and large, it was a dreary sight indeed. Efforts are being made by individuals, politicians, and organizations to bring about changes, but it all seems so futile, and we seem to have learned nothing from history at all. As I pondered these situations — some nearby, others far away — I thought of the day when, according to God's Word, all of this will change.
Revelation 21:4 – And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (NKJV)
The writer, the apostle John, was exiled on the island of Patmos. While there, he was given messages for the seven churches in Asia, and had a vision of the day when all this dreariness will change. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. In the meantime, we are assured that Christ is with all of us here and now, and that He will come again and bring everlasting peace. Everything will be new and improved!
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You that during these days of isolation, insecurity, and worry for so many of us, we have the assurance that changes will come about at Your appointed time. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Comforting words, Joel. God bless.
Thank you so kindly for your devotional. I’m encouraged by your faith.
Thanks, Joel, for your timely and encouraging message today. Stay safe.
Very nice message Joel.
Enjoyed your devotional, New and Improved, that appeared in today’s PresbyCan. Great reminder!
God bless you as you continue to write for Him!
Thank you, Joel, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Indeed, it’s amazing how a dusting of snow can turn a dreary landscape into a Currier and Ives picture! Blessings.
Thank you for this devotional and encouraging us!!! I could picture your yard and the beautiful trees clearly.
Good morning Joel
Thank you for your messages over the years.
I’ve enjoyed your life stories that are spiced with the word of God, as He guides and cares for us through these times.
Lots of snow to brighten things here.
Although this is a snow-belt area other parts of Ontario that don’t usually get much snow are getting it just now. The Golden Horseshoe area seems to be getting more snow than we are at present.
Enjoy the winter as much as you can. I am thankful that I don’t have to go out.
Thanks for your good words, Joel. I live in the high desert of So. Cal, and only white covering is the huge flock of white winter visitors from Canada settle in a huge area of our Navy Base. They break up in flocks where they go to our several flocks, one being 2 blocks down our street. Yesterday on my way home from church, some had crossed the street into a yard, and some were down on the ready to go too. I drove very carefully, and I think there is some good spiritual writing in this.
God bless you real good, Joel, and keep writing and blessing us.
Thank you for your devotion. I read it as snow was falling, transforming my neighbourhood… at least for today… a temporary but nevertheless authentic and beautiful picture of Christ’s future transforming the whole world.
When our work now of restoring justice and showing mercy feels like puny, futile little attempts to stop a tidal wave, it helps me to remember my job is not to stop the tidal wave, but to give beautiful foretastes of what He will do completely and simply point people to Jesus and the reason for my hope.
In relation to all this I wish for the new to come.
Then I realize we still have a job to do, here and now.
Hi Joel, I too so appreciate the artist’s hand in nature with newly fallen snow! Thanks for the reminder that at the appointed time, everything will change!
I mention to people whining about the stay-at-home orders that at least there aren’t bombs dropping and gestapo patrolling our streets! That often gives them something for which to be thankful!
Take care and stay safe!