Please read the following, and then answer the questions at the bottom over the next four days.
Thursday, December 16
Two months after Steve’s death
Annie feels like her life is “over”—and sometimes I do too. I understand those widows in pagan places who climb up on the funeral pyre and are burned with their husbands’ bodies. When I told Steve I wanted to go with him, he shook his head, “No, no—you must go on—the children, the people you touch. Go on because I can’t.”
I know, deep in my soul, that our lives are not our own. You have left us here for a reason. Yet I look out at the frozen ground, covered with snow, and think, “That’s how I feel.”
I told Liz Curtis Higgs (an author and friend) that’s how I felt. She e-mailed back: “Good, Beloved. He will slowly melt your ‘frozenness.’ And it is, after all, winter now. Beneath the frozen ground, new life is preparing to burst forth come spring. I feel certain that’s what will happen with you as well.”
In Narnia, the land that C. S. Lewis created, it was always winter and never Christmas—that is, until Aslan appeared. Then the ice began to thaw, yellow crocuses began to poke their heads up through the snow, and the snow began to fall in great clumps from the trees and melt into the ground. Aslan’s enemy, the White Witch, who traveled by sleigh, was stopped in her tracks.
“This is no thaw,” said the dwarf, suddenly stopping. “This is Spring. What are we to do? Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you! This is Aslan’s doing.”
How can we get through the frozen tundra of grief to spring?
Only one way. Aslan—Jesus—must come.
And He will. He hears the groaning of His people and His heart is moved. He cares, more than a mother cares for her fretful baby, and He has the truth to calm our fretful souls.
1. Comments or reflections on the above reading?
2. Find evidence in Scripture, either from historical incidents, or from the psalms, that God hears the cries of His people and cares. (You can do a word hunt by going to Biblegateway.com and typing in words like cries, groanings, sorrows — and see what you find.) Write down the phrases that touch your heart.
3. Often when you are in the midst of a spiritual winter, as many of you are, you cannot imagine that spring will come — that Aslan will come. What I want you to do is look back to a different winter, when spring did come, when Jesus did come, and write down what you remember.
4. Memorize the first verse of Be Still My Soul and share your reflections on it.
It’s in the back of The God of All Comfort or you can google it.
5. For Narnia fans, share a comforting word picture of Aslan.
6. Meditate on Psalm 30. Taste it. Savor it. When a verse leaps out at you, The Spirit is speaking. Go slower. Savor. Memorize. Then (and only then) tell us what you see.