Why melting is a good thing…

It's a truly beautiful day.

The snow is melting, the sky is blue, and I'm sitting in the lounge area of our newly renovated school, grabbing a precious few hours of down-time to write this as the sun streams through the windows. My playlist is a combination of Kari Jobe's new live album and United acoustic sessions (which is some seriously beautiful worship, if you're interested… ;)), and I am totally content. Like, totally. If I could teleport you here to share this moment with me, then believe me, I would.

It's been so warm the last two days, that despite the still-bigger-than-me-snow-piles that exist on the street corners, the true-optimist that I am has forsaken my coat and braved the great outdoors in just a jumper. If it wasn't for said snow piles melting into street-rivers all over the place I would have probably risked flip flops. (The reality is it's WAY too cold for this… The sun is just making me giddy…)

So you'll have got from the inference in that first paragraph, that the school renovations are now complete! It was perhaps the busiest weekend imaginable. At 10pm on Sunday evening, after a full afternoon of putting flat pack furniture together whilst the builders continued working around us, we screwed the final desks together and called it a night.

It was more than totally worth it.

The place is looking amazing.

This also now means that I am learning Japanese and teaching English in the same venue. I spend so much time here that I joked about moving a bed into one of the classrooms.

I'm so thankful. My teachers are super great. My students are super amazing. It's a brilliant combination.

Because I know you're all dying to see pictures… Check it out… 🙂

There are about 13 classrooms now, a cinema room and a table tennis room… But that might have just been picture overload, right?

So I was thinking this morning as I walked to church, that I'm going to have to totally refind my way about Sapporo now the snow is melting. Because I've just about got there… For the most part. I know my way to church. To work. To shops. To friend's houses. Whilst all of it is veiled by 5 foot plus snow piles.

But now the snow is melting.

The streets are wider than I thought. I'm noticing detail and shop names and beautiful intricacies that I never knew were there. The reality of things is being revealed. And for the most part it's pretty awesome to see. On my street there was actually an entire car completely buried in a pile of snow. No joke. (I mean, I'm no mechanic, but surely that's not great for the engine?!)

The snow melting is also inevitably revealing some of the rubbish. Hidden under crisp white snow piles is some stuff that needs cleaning up. Forgotten things. Umbrellas and empty coffee cans and things that need to be taken care of.

The reality of things being revealed.

In their reality.

It's pretty beautiful. For the most part.

And when the clean up is done, even more so.

I love this city.

It reminds me a bit of the way God deals with me as well.

He takes my cold and hardened heart, in it's crisp white apparent-but-not-as-it-should-be state, and He melts it. Not all at once, as I would be overcome, but gently and slowly, He thaws me. And as the snow melts it reveals detail and calling and beautiful intricacies that I never knew were there. The reality of things, of His purposes, being revealed. In His timing.

The melting process inevitably also reveals some of the mess. Because for me, as for us all, hidden under the crisp white snow piles is some stuff that needs to be cleared up. Sin and unforgiveness and wrong motivations and fear and anxiety. Forgotten things. Things He wants to take care of. In His timing.

The reality of things being revealed.

In their reality.

But His work in me, and in us, it's pretty beautiful.

He's patient in this melting process.

And His redemption is stunning.

He knows what it takes to let us live again. It the fully-thawed freedom that He always intended for us.

True freedom.

We love better when we've been melted. We love Jesus more fully. We love people more sacrifically. We love life more completely. We dance in freedom because we remember when we couldn't lift our gaze from the snow-storm. We stand, arms outstretched in the sun, marvelling in the wonder of the warmth, because we know what it was like for all to be cold. Melting is softening, and all fading but Him. It's beautiful.

I was praying for some of my friends this morning, and as I prayed for one precious girl, the words from the song 'Up in Arms' came to my mind. Thinking about it, they are a beautiful thought to finish with on this topic too.

A reckless love too wild to understand

Breathing the world to life in Your romance

So here I am. Your love has got me up in arms again

And this hope won't let me go.

My joy is boundless

My soul knows it's worth

In arms stretching wider than my heart could ever fall

You own the skies and still You want my heart

Casting Your throne aside to lift me up

So here I am. Your love has got me up in arms again

And this hope won't let me go

Your word is final, Your name above all

The cross my reminder, Your love is forever

Cause here I am. Your love has got me up in arms again

And this hope won't let me go

Here I am. Jesus take my life and all I have

Now this hope won't let me go

Our joy is boundless because His love is boundless.

My thankfulness overflows. My love for Him overflows because His love first overflowed for me.

Yep. This is a good place to be 🙂 Hope won't let me go.



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