It began here in the Northeastern U.S. with snow. And depending on just where in that area you live, total accumulations thus far vary from 6 inches to almost 6 feet.
Then came the Arctic blast, and we all added a new phrase to our vocabularies - polar vortex. Photos of rivers, oceans and lakes frozen over, filled the feed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Yesterday, my 15 minute commute to work took five times as long because of unexpected freezing rain that made every road an ice rink. It wasn't as bad as the ice storm we'd had a week or so before, but dangerous nonetheless, mostly because it came as a surprise.
Today, the temps hit almost 60 degrees...in January...in New Jersey...the day after freezing rain racked up several multi-car accidents in and around my neighborhood. But I can't really enjoy the outdoors and this unseasonable warm up because it's also raining buckets. All. day. long. And as I type this, I even hear thunder.
Yup...it's been quite a year for wacky weather.
But as I drove the roads that were now clear of snow and ice this morning, I noticed something just as dangerous left behind.
They are ubiquitous. Some small, some large, some huge. The tar has expanded and contracted, cracked and given way because of all the weather changes. Left untended, potholes continue to expand and can cause an accident or at very least, ruin the tires and the suspension of your car, leaving you stranded on the road.
One of the most insidious things about potholes is that often, you don't see them until it's too late and the damage is done.
And it got me thinking.
Our lives can be like that can't they?
Filled with all manner of storms that can leave us damaged and dealing with the potholes of...Bitterness. Hurt. Fear. Insecurity. Depression. Anger.
When that happens, the natural reaction is to try to patch the damage. The problem is, a patch is a temporary fix and the pothole of issues remains underneath.
The patches we reach for in our lives don't have to be something destructive like drugs, alcohol, excessive shopping, or overeating. They could be something that seems innocuous on the surface like throwing yourself into work or church.
No matter what the patch is made up of, the area will crack again.
But have you ever seen a road resurfaced? All the patches are scraped away and the road is exposed to its base. The roadway is then filled up with one continuous pouring of material to bind it together making it safe and strong.
That's the way it is when we turn those potholes over to God. Psalm 147:3 tells us: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Healing is not patching.
If you've been patching up your potholes...dealing with the damage of life's storms with temporary fixes...it's time to let the master Engineer remove all the crushed and broken pieces so He can fill you up, bind you together, and make you strong.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18