It is Sunday afternoon and not too long after the family and I pulled into our parking space having returned from chapel. It is cold here (Ft Drum, NY) and according to the weather report it was well below freezing at about 14/15 Fahrenheit or -10 Celsius (this is actually warm compared to the -16 F / -27 C temps of last week). Regardless, as I pulled in behind my pick-up truck I witnessed something strange. Half of the bed of the truck was covered in snow and the other half was perfectly clean – the snow had melted away.
The melt line was matched with the shade/sun line. As the bed of the truck was exposed to the sun the snow melted. Because the sun hit the truck at an angle, a portion of the bed was shaded while the rest was lit. The shaded portion remained covered in snow.
Now we have all seen snow last longer in the shade than it does in the sunlight – that is no surprise. The surprise to me is that it is still sub-freezing. It should be, in theory at least, impossible for the snow to melt when the temps are still significantly below the freezing point. Yet the snow exposed to the sun melts. Somehow (I am sure somebody out there can explain it), the way the sun hits the material creates a warmth in the object that exceeds that of the air. As a result the frozen snow, in frozen temperatures, melts away. It is not a matter of the sun existing – the sun exists 24 hours a day whether we see it or not. It is not a matter of the sun being out – the sun is out but not melting all of the snow. It is a matter of being exposed to the sun – directly connecting with the source of warmth.
The same is true in our personal lives. Every day we live in a sub-freezing world – Satan is on the loose and causing the cold death of sin to diminish the lives we live. Some days may seem warmer than others. One day may feel absolutely artic cold as we battle the struggles of life while other days seem balmy in comparison. This understood, there is still no day is without some form of trial and temptation. And, the bottom-line is that we cannot thaw ourselves. We must be exposed to the Son. It is not enough that the Son exists – Jesus exists yet people run head-long into sin not knowing that Jesus can save them from their trials. It is not enough that the Son is out, visible to those around – lots of people live in the shadow of a church rather than the light of the Saviour. It is a matter of being exposed to the Son – hearing the Gospel, knowing the Good News, gathering together in worship, and having other Christians reach out with helping and supporting hands.
Then, even though the world is still below the freezing point, the Son, Jesus, is able to warm those who are in contact with Him. The temptations, trials, and other setbacks of the cold death of sin still exist but in spite of them those exposed to the Son will warm and thaw and experience new life.