Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wash in Warm Water - Gentle Cycle...

I believe I have been cold since 1960 - that is the year I was born. Seriously, in the past several years I struggle to stay warm - even in the summer. I have been to the Dr. and she has run all battery of tests to see if there is a medical issue causing this temperature mishap. To no avail. She finally determined I just have an internal thermostat that doesn't register correctly and, for whatever reason, the cause is still unclear. My husband tells me I am wired wrong. I've come to the same conclusion.

It's a chore for my body to try and keep itself warm. The body's natural response is to hold itself tightly and to shiver to create heat. This results in some fairly trussed-up muscles and some rickety and stiff bones - and, no heat. Throughout the day, I find myself yearning for a hot bath or shower. To sink into a hot bath is bliss. The muscles loosen up and I know I can hear my bones sigh.

Whenever I am so cold I have to retreat to the bath, I'm reminded of this story told by an old friend of mine.

Don was in Special Ops when he was in the Navy. He was a "frogman" - I believe that is what they call them - an amphibious unit that did special covert operations.

He said his unit used to train in the dark, in the cold and in freezing water. Even though he wore a wet suit and the only thing directly exposed to the elements was a bit of his face, it was still unbearably spine-rattling cold. The freezing temperature seemed to seep into every part of his being - sometimes making feeling and moving difficult.

Don told me that when he came out of the cold water - where he may have been for several hours, He would be freezing. Then, one of the guys in his unit would pour warm water over him to warm him up. He said it was indescribable the way his body felt as the water would start at the top of his head and trickle down and envelope every part of his body.

He was telling me this story one night when we were talking about how we came to Jesus and what a difference Christ has made in our lives. It's a story I have never forgotten.

Don told me that when He finally gave his life to Christ, after many years of running from Him, that it felt exactly like that warm water flowing from the top of his head and over his body. The warmth of the Holy Spirit completely consumed him, wrapped him up, warmed his heart and brought him to life.

I think about that story just about every day when I come home cold and I step into the shower or dip into a warm tub. That warmth touches my skin and it is nice and cozy, comforting and makes me feel comfortable and, finally, warm inside. God's love is like that, you know. He pours it over us like warm and gentle water and then wraps us tightly and keeps us safe. It allows us to feel and to move and to live God's grace.

Warm Water, Gentle Cycle...I love the way He loves me.

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