More than any winter in recent times I was glad to have my wood stove sitting in the middle of the house. When I came in chilled from being outdoors a little too long or damp from the many winter rains, or when I drank just a little too much iced tea for supper, I had a place I could back up to and get warm again.
On July 17, 1902, Carrier invented the first air conditioner, which later became central air, and then central heat and air. As big a boon as that was, especially in the heat of a Florida summer, it lacks something in the winter—no place to go to get warm. You don’t really want it that warm everywhere in the house. Washing a sink full of dishes, or baking for a couple of hours in the kitchen would be too uncomfortable. And who can afford the heating bill if you actually put the thermostat at something over 70? But having every place in the house under 70 is uncomfortable.
I remember dressing for school on winter mornings in the warm center hall of our little house, draping my clothes over the door to the oil heater to warm them, and huddling up to it while I waited. It may have been chilly in the bedroom, but there was always somewhere to go to get warm. Every home should have a center of warmth somewhere, a place where you feel like you are wrapped in a warm embrace. Every soul should have one too.
Think about the scenes of comfort and acceptance the Bible speaks of. Jesus took the little children “into his arms,” (Mark 9:36); John was “reclining in Jesus’ bosom,” (John 13:23); Lazarus died and went to Paradise and lay “in [Abraham’s] bosom,” (Luke 16:23). It speaks of an intimacy we can only imagine, as Christ was before time in Heaven “in the bosom of the Father,” (John 1:18). I cannot remember how many times I held a sick child in my lap, wrapping him up in my arms, a blanket over the both of us to keep him warm. That often made him feel better than the medicine did, if not more so.
The Lord’s bosom is where we go when the world seems a little too cold; when a spiritual fever wracks our souls and gives us chills; when even a friend greets us with an icy stare, when we are alone and need close contact with someone who loves us.
God always provides a center of warmth for His children. Run into His arms and get warm again.
He will feed His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that have their young, Isa 40:11.