The winter of the heart - Hope 103.2

The winter of the heart

By David ReayTuesday 24 Oct 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Jeremiah 15:18

18           But why, why this chronic pain,
                   this ever worsening wound and no healing in sight?
               You’re nothing, God, but a mirage,
                   a lovely oasis in the distance—and then nothing! (THE MESSAGE)

We would much prefer that words like this were never said or were never needed to be said. How much preferable it would be to see our life of faith as one long warm summer, that all is well all the time. How good it would be if Jeremiah could be written off as a melancholic, whining crank who made a career out of feeling sorry for himself.

But the words are there. Just as Jesus’ words of God forsakenness are there. Just as the psalmists repeatedly cry out from the pit in words of lament mingled with trust. Perhaps one of the marks of the Bible’s reliability and integrity is the fact that it doesn’t gloss over sorrow or pain or disappointment.

Any spirituality that seeks to skate over the sort of pain expressed by Jeremiah is a false spirituality. While we certainly don’t want to embrace a ‘feel miserable’ brand of Christianity, it is equally dangerous to succumb to a ‘feel good’ type of faith. It is not as if pain and sorrow are constant or even the primary themes of our life. It is just that they are one part of the tapestry of our lives and they actually have much to teach us.

None of us wakes in the morning and pleads with God to give us a therapeutic dose of hardship. But we do surrender ourselves daily to him, and recognise that he promises trouble as well as joy.

The only faith worth having is a faith based on reality rather than illusion. A faith that ignores or dismisses the winter of our heart is mere psychological game playing. Life has its seasons; winter is one of them.

David Reay

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by