In the Bleak Mid Winter


It’s been only a few weeks since we sang the familiar carol with words by Rosetti:

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,

                       Water like a stone;

                        Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

                         Snow on snow,

                         In the bleak mid-winter

                          Long ago.

The Advent and Christmas season had passed, but my soul felt as though it was stuck in the bleak mid-winter, hard as iron, like a stone. Colorado has more than its share of beautiful winter sunshine, so this couldn’t be attributed to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Since Christmas I hadn’t felt well (unusual for me) but the doctor ruled out anything serious and slowly—very slowly—I was feeling better. In addition, the stress of travel, constant people, interrupted schedule, unfinished projects nagged. A skill I thought I was performing well—or at least adequately—was critiqued and criticized. The list of “shoulds” and “oughts” grew into a bundle like the one carried by Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress.

I performed the prescribed “soul check”: any sin to be confessed? any relationship to be mended? any discipline to be activated? After checking off the usual feel-better, get-out-of-the-funk procedures, I remained exactly in the same winter’s dark emotional place.

Now what? Shouldn’t Christians be triumphant? praising? always ‘on top’? Shouldn’t psalms or proverbs bring a sense of God’s presence? What about experiencing peace?

And then I remembered the title of my first blog just one year ago: Come Sit With Me. Could it be that all God wants—and all I need—is to sit with Him? No expectations? No check lists or prayer lists? Just quiet sitting? Not waiting for God. Just waiting with God.

I needed to read and meditate on Rosetti’s last stanza:

 What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb;

If I were a wise man

I would do my part;

Yet what I can, I give Him—

Give Him my heart.

 And so I sit.

And wait.

With God.


One thought on “In the Bleak Mid Winter

  1. Praying your ‘waiting’ time with your Lord has been very precious. I always think we are too preoccupied with ‘doing’ and not enough ‘being’ by his side. I look forward to hearing your sharing from ‘being’ quiet with Him.


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