So here in the Suburbs of Chicago, it’s very cold today. Well, not just us but the whole region. Polar vortex it’s called. Air that normally swirls far to the North of us has descended upon our happy hamlets, ok maybe semi-depressed sub-urban existence to make our teeth chatter.
There are those who wish to see in this the climate change boogeyman raising his foul head. They argue for man caused climate change, and I’m always thinking: good luck controlling for all the variables.
Doesn’t matter because it’s still bone chillingly cold outside. The feels like this morning was -50F. I can feel the cold seeping in through the small gaps in the door. It pours off the windows. The heat seems to kick on every 15 minutes to hold back the onslaught.
We use the word “cold” when we talk about indifference. A cold shoulder. Cool indifference. The cold indifference of the human heart is far deadlier than the physical cold outside. I think of this because I was reading an article earlier on human trafficking and the sex trade. It takes a cold, cold heart to do what these smugglers do. The pleasures of power, sex, and greed have chilled these people’s souls to rock hard blocks of ice. I say people, because although it is primarily men who do this, there were 2 women’s names among the list of the top 20 smugglers caught in the last 10 year period.
I also think of those who cheered on the heinous abortion bill in New York. And before I go seeing it in everyone but myself, my cold indifference is there too. It may not be as fully formed, but that same tendency resides within my flesh. As Paul says in Romans, I am at war with my own flesh.
There is but one remedy and that is to look to Jesus as my Savior. As Paul says so beautifully in Romans 8, God has done for us what we couldn’t do ourselves. GOD turned the cold and dark indifference of the human heart in on itself to destroy sin and death. Ravi Zacharias uses the the following quote many times in his speaking engagements. It is an immensely concise and powerful observation on the sheer awesomeness of God’s salvation.
“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’
The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub-serve his end, not theirs.
They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet.
They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne.
They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in.
They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.
They thought they had defeated God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down.
He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”
James Stewart (1896–1990) was a minister of the Church of Scotland