Jesus comes into bleak midwinters bringing living hope forevermore.
Does this title ring a bell? It’s a favorite hymn that starts out with a moan and ends with worship. It marks vivid Christmas memories for me growing up in church. We’d kneel to sing. I’d hold one side of the hymnal, my dad the other, with tears in our eyes and lumps in our throats, barely able to get the words out.
In the bleak midwinter,
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Bleak. I’ve been in the bleakest times, haven’t you? Barren and desolate, arid and stark, windswept and at my end. I stepped into some of these places by choice. Obstinate and ignorant, thinking I knew best. How could God still choose me? Why would He? Yet, it’s why He came. He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
It’s beyond incredible that when we bring our bleakest moments before the face of our Savior, beauty is birthed! He truly makes beauty from ashes. My heart kneels and my life cries out Alleluias. Bring your heart without reservation to the Savior. He will meet you there and we will cry out Alleluias together!
What can I give Him poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
Yet, what can I give Thee? Give Thee my heart.
“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory.” (Isaiah 61:3)