A Hymn for Wintertime Blues

Jan 24, 2024

It's been an extra cold January here in Iowa. The gloom of cloudy days, staying indoors due to road closures and cancelled church services are just a few of the discouraging things lately that have affected my mood, motivation and mentality more than I care to admit. 

Perhaps this winter has been difficult for you, too. It's hard to grasp how our physical circumstances and physical needs can overlap with the spiritual, but they do!

While there are helpful, practical things we can do for our physical selves this time of year depending on how severe it is for us—getting out of the house, staying warm, meeting with friends, better nutrition or increasing light exposure and Vitamin D—there's an even better Source of relief.

Imagine you're in the ocean, feet still touching the sand, and you realize you're standing in an undercurrent. The first thing to do in that moment is to refrain from fighting the current, stay calm, turn around and face the shoreline so you can keep your bearings.

Sometimes when motivation lacks and productivity suffers or we seem spiritually stagnate, our greatest victory isn't extra productivity or the outward appearance of an abundant life -- it involves simply facing Jesus to keep our bearings until God helps us get back to shore.

So what does this facing Jesus look like? Well, since Jesus is the Word of God Incarnate, it looks like opening His Word. Daily Bible reading has been a true bright spot for me during these long winter days and I feel compelled to encourage others to go this route, too.

The best part about facing Jesus like this is that when we make the slightest effort to face Him, the easier it is to keep doing it—even when motivation disappears with the sun!

Of course, there's a hymn for that. You can probably guess it because it's one of those favorites: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

by Helen Lemmel, 1922

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Thro' death into life everlasting,
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion--
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you--He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!





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