Strangely Warmed

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

As I write this, it’s early in the morning.

It’s getting colder outside. Towards the beginning and the end of the day, you may even be able to see your breath form a cloud in front of your mouth. Our house is cooler most of the day. So, as I am typing, I am sitting by the fireplace.

Out of the corner of my eye, I can see yellow-red flames leaping and licking around the fake logs that rest in the stone recess of our wall.

We have a gas fireplace. We never have to worry about chopping wood or getting the fire started. With the flip of a switch and no effort on my part, the fire consumes the phony logs, and with another flip, the fire puffs out.

I wonder if my ancestors would shake their heads at me. I imagine my great-great-great-grandfather wagging his finger in my face.

Back in my day, we were chopping wood from sunrise ’til lunchtime. If you didn’t have wood, you’d be frozen solid come winter!

And here I am, flipping a switch. Turning up the thermostat.  Flipping on my coffee machine.

Warmth is always a button away.

Maybe I do have it pretty easy nowadays. But, as I stare at my fireplace, I’m reminded of the warmth that filled my heart when I first came to believe. There was an assurance of my eternal destination. Confidence in a Being who was much greater than myself. Comfort in the closeness of the Holy Spirit. A cleansing in my soul.

All of these themes seemed to culminate as a warmth in my heart. Even John Wesley penned the words, “I felt my heart strangely warmed” as he heard a reading from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans.

There’s no doubt about it, a warmness is felt when we have an encounter with the Spirit. It happens on the day of our conversion and sanctification. But, I believe that the Spirit continues to offer His warmth day by day.

That peace in the midst of a chaotic season. The joy when you should be sad. The comfort after heartbreak. The healing after a bout with pain. Each one, a measure of warmth transmitted to your heart by the Holy Spirit.

As you the days grow colder and colder, as you pull the blankets up to your chin, as you pull on your slippers, as you dust off your winter coat, as you shovel your driveway–be reminded of the warmth that only the Spirit of God can bring.

As I continue to look upon my fireplace, my prayer is that the warmth of God will not be flicked on with the push of a button, but with the unexpected phone call, the negative diagnoses, the sadness, the pain, bad news, humility, the unknown–may they be the catalysts for the warmth of the Spirit to penetrate my often cold heart.

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