February has to be my least favourite month of the year. Why? It’s the humidity, the heaviness and oppressiveness of the heat. This year, I feel like we have had February through all of January and I am over it. I have mastered the “wilted” look – my eyes have those black rings under them, my hair has that crazy disheveled look, my clothes look crushed and damp even after I have just put them on. I feel damp and clammy even after a shower. It’s not a good look.
I found this picture of Winnie the Pooh and he wonderfully captures how I feel when he says “I don’t feel very much like Pooh, today.” I suspect I am not the only one.
I watch children excitedly dressed for their first day of school, crisp school uniforms, carrying bags almost as large as their little selves, their brand new shoes and socks and neatly done hair. I feel sorry for them and imagine them sitting in the playground, wearing their large hats, eating soggy sandwiches. They will return home wilted, desperate to remove their shoes and socks.
Sweaty train trips filled with sweaty bodies crushed together. Walking along city pavements amongst the crush of crowds. The heat rises from the bitumen and feet sink into its melting warmth. Cups of tea are replaced with icy cold drinks – anything, as long as its cold. Hibernating in air conditioning. Any air conditioning – even a shopping centre. Oh, I don’t feel much like me at all. I hate shopping centres – why would I consider going to one? I am wilting.
I have been reading Psalm 19 and my eye was captivated by this verse: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.” Refreshment. That is what I need in February. I long to be refreshed. A cold glass of water. Feet standing in the water at the beach.
Removing my shoes and elevating swollen ankles. A southerly buster. Rain – cool, deep soaking rain. Uninterrupted sleep. Sitting beside a cool shady pond filled with giant water lilies. These things become things I long for in February more than at any other time of the year.These things may refresh my body, but not my soul. What I most long for, and I long for it in February and at other times of the year is a refreshed soul.
If I want a refreshed soul, I need to turn to God’s word in all its guises – the law, the statutes, the precepts, the commands, and the decrees for refreshment. Sit and read it, soaking up its rich truths, drinking up its wisdom. Returning to my picture of Winnie the Pooh, I love Piglet’s response: “There, there I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.” Piglet knows what Winnie the Pooh needs and it’s honey.
The Psalmist liken’s God’s word to honey: ” it is more precious than gold, than much pure gold; it is sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.” (V10)
Be like Winnie the Pooh and plunge your soul deep into the honey pot and treasure its sweetness, its golden-ness, its stickiness. God’s word is precious. This is how God speaks to us. Taste of its goodness and be refreshed.
Have you ever watched a wilted plant respond to water? Those droopy stems and fading flowers revive and keep going. This is how to flourish in this month of February. Soak up that word, drink of its nectar. Our bodies may wilt, but our souls will be fine.