Defrost

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She lay in her bed shivering. "I can't get warm," she said. I turned up the heater as far as it would go and covered her with a third blanket. The room was stifling hot, but she was shaking with cold. I went to the desk to ask someone to get her yet another blanket.

As concerned as I was about her physical coldness, I was more worried about her spiritual well-being. But at that moment, her mind was too engaged by her physical needs to allow room for anything else. This morning, as I prayed for her, I remembered again the promises of Scripture that are associated with the coming of Christ.

He came to heal the frozen heart and the broken spirit.

The last book of the Old Testament tells us: "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall" (Malachi 4:2).

Who could have imagined that a baby, born without rank or privilege, could hold the power to make such a difference in the world?

Jesus said that He had come to give life and to give it to the fullest extent possible (John 10:10). Quoting from the prophet Isaiah, He said that His mission was to: "...preach good news to the poor...proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18, 19).  In Isaiah, the prophet also includes these words, speaking of the coming Messiah: "...to bind up the brokenhearted...to comfort all who mourn...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair" (Isaiah 61:1-3).

In the madness of Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays and shopping until we are dropping, of presents and parties, people try their best to bandage the brokenness and to heal the hurt in their lives.

But the Word of God proclaims, without apology and without reservation, that the SON of righteousness has appeared with healing for all those things that hold us captive with icy arms. It's hard to think of the warmth of that love that brought God down to a manger in a stable when we are shivering from the cold of doubt and fear and held prisoner by sins committed by us and against us. It's cold in the devil's dungeon.

But it only takes one look at the Saviour to melt a heart frozen to stone. For those of us who have experienced that release, Isaiah reminds us to keep speaking into people's lives even when it seems the message falls on ears as frozen as their hearts.

"Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, 'Be strong, so not fear; your God will come...he will come to save you.' Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness...the redeemed will walk there" (Isaiah 35:3-9).

When the tiny, warm, hand of that Baby clutches a cold finger, it tends to melt even the most frozen heart.

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