Hell and Cold

For many we understand hell to be a fiery inferno where the flames of satan burn us in eternal torment.  After a few days of cold, I wonder if hell is really just one big ball of ice where all we have to wear is a bathing suit.  While many of us might be suffering in the frigid temperatures, we see an end to the suffering.  By the weekend, we should be back up to the balmy 20s or 30s.  Then it is not much longer before the warm spring will reclaim its dominance over the cold.  Let the last few days of cold remind us that as much as we might suffer here in this world, there is an end to all suffering.   Christ promises hope and peace, love and joy.  Our times of chaos or pain, loss or despair can and will end.  However, we are asked to accept the gifts of grace and mercy and respond to it.  Like putting on a winter coat or adding a space heater in a cold room to counter the cold, God asks that we trust in God and do our due diligence of prayer, Scripture reading and being in community.  When we put on a coat we find warmth in the cold.  When we pray, we find comfort in our pain.  The source of all good is God and we just need to turn to that source.

I peter 4:12-13

(NRSV) 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.

(Message) 12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.