Perusal* – Winter 2015, Reflections on Cabin Fever…

(* perusal; to examine or consider with attention and in detail)

Psalms 62:1; For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.

2    He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

This is being written on a Sunday morning.  Robby & I are not with our Flat Creek family and we miss them.  The providence of our great and sovereign God has determined that the mildness of the winter in December through to almost the end of February would be interrupted this week.  This has been the coldest week in the history of central Virginia, at least as far back as the 1840’s when records were started.  In fact, Friday morning was the coldest day ever in central Virginia; -11o F.  Where are the geniuses forecasting an apocalyptic “global warming”?

Cabin fever is the hot topic among central Virginians.  Our youngest daughter Megan Epps and her family, Dean, Wyatt, and Sawyer, were featured on our local TV station in Lynchburg, WSET, talking about “cabin fever”.  The New England states have had it much worse than Virginians – over 100” of snow and also record, bitter cold.  Perhaps they can give us some pointers on surviving “real” cabin fever.

So, what should believers think during these abnormal weather days?  Our Lord often reminds us in His word to “Be still and know that I am God”, Ps. 46:10. But how often are we “still”, or “silent”, or “peaceful”?  Our days and weeks are filled with activity, entertainment, busyness, and sometimes, just plain nosiness.  The ordinary drumbeat of our lives must be titillated with extra sensory experiences, even in our churches.  Acts of God today are no longer just weather phenomena; they must be resounding miraculous events or circumstances.  We must feel the “earth move under my feet” (w/ apologies to Carole King). Little do we think of God’s sustaining grace every single day of our lives through the means He has ordained to grow us in his grace – preaching, teaching, and the ordinances of baptism and celebration of Lord’s Supper.

During this winter time and especially on an inclement Lord’s Day, what better opportunity to reflect, in silence, on His gift of salvation in God the Son.  “I am making Jesus”, we say, “my personal Lord and Savior”, as if we could make him anything!  This assumes we start as autonomous individuals that “own” ourselves, forgetting that “You are not our own” (1 Cor. 6:18).  We have traded the Savior in exchange for whatever He can give us in return.  The Gospel, the Good News, is that Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Savior. We do not make him anything! It is what He has made us – coheirs of his estate and adopted as his brothers and sisters. Good to meditate in silence on the true rock of our salvation.

David talks of his Lord as his “fortress”, or so says the ESV (Easy Southern Version, or English Standard Version, whichever you prefer).  The KJV uses the English word “defense”.  Both are appropriate.  David was longing for a refuge from Absalom, his treasonous son.  The word can mean “an isolated cliff, lofty and inaccessible”.  It is thought to be Misgab in Moab, a strong citadel built in the highlands.  David often wrote of hiding places, isolated venues to escape his enemies and reflect on Gods’ great stability and salvation.   

Christ Jesus is God incarnate, divinely human and humanly divine.  Michael Horton writes, “He did not remain in heaven while writing messages in the sky or on giant screens. He sent prophets in His name and, in the fullness of time, he came down himself – assuming our flesh.”  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jn. 10:27). Do you know the Savior in silence? Are you satisfied with His ordinary influences in your believing life? Remember, we cannot make God any greater than He is.  The ordinary triune God is always extraordinary!  We don’t need another hero and need not to make Christ Jesus our hero.  He is our Savior, Redeemer, Friend, Counselor, Fortress, elder Brother, Creator, and Judge.  Reflect on these things silently, humbly, steadily; in the ordinary course of day to day life!

Cabin fever is meant to cause us pause, meditation, reflection, and serenity in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Sola Deo Gloria!

Pastor Carey