On Tuesday, January 4, 2005, the worst ice storm in decades hit Wichita. Over three quarters of an inch of ice coated the area, downing power lines and plunging more than 60,000 homes and businesses into darkness. The icy outdoors created a surreal fantasy world, with homes, grass, trees, streets, and mailboxes painted with a clear, icy glaze. Trees bent over, their limbs dragging the ground under their heavy loads. Many, unable to bear the load, snapped, littering roofs, yards, sidewalks, and streets with their crystal branches. By Saturday, the clouds cleared, and the sun on nature’s ice castles sparkled brilliantly, their prisms of ice flinging crystal colors everywhere.
afternoon, feeling housebound, I ventured outdoors to watch the sun glisten off
the icy trees. In my backyard, everything drooped under the weight of the
ice—according to newscasters the ice was four times the weight of the trees it
covered. The mulberry trees bent so far over from the weight of the ice, the tips
of their branches brushed the snow-covered ground. I stood in the middle of the
back yard and gazed at the trees surrounding me. The sun, striking the
ice-covered branches, turned my back-yard world brilliant, but what really
struck me were all the new sounds. As I stood there watching and listening, a
whole chorus sang. The main melody: the constant drip, drip, drip of water
falling from thousands of icicles. All around me I heard this constant dripping
as the sun melted the ice. With the breeze, the click and clack of ice-covered
branches brushing each other added to the tune. Plop! I turned and looked behind me at trembling
tree branches, freed from their weight of ice. Every few seconds I heard
another plop as chunks of ice tumbled to the ground. Occasionally a loud
crashing resounded as a larger ice fragment hit the branch below and tumbled
from branch to branch before landing on the softer earth. Looking at the ash
tree by the corner of our vegetable garden, I witnessed hundreds of drops
glistening in the late afternoon sun and plopping to the ground; the tree wept.
Before long, I noticed the lower branches of the mulberry tree no longer
touched the ground. I wondered how long it would take before all the ice melted
from the trees and the branches, freed from their burden, and would once more
often do our souls become ice-coated? We
are burdened and bent over, not with the weight of ice, but with the weight of
our guilt and our sins. Heavy with guilt, we labor to lift our arms heavenward.
Some, unable to bear this burden, snap and break. Others merely look down,
unable to praise God. Fortunately, we can eliminate the burdens weighing us
down. Like the sun shining on the ice-laden trees, God’s grace frees us from
our burdens. When in repentance we sincerely beg God’s son to shine his light
of forgiveness, the hard shell of guilt begins to crack and stir. Soon, tears
of gratitude flow, just like the weeping trees. Before long, the hard shells of
ice coating our souls come crashing down. Soon we can once again raise our arms
heavenward, look up and praise our maker.
thank you for melting away my heavy burden of guilt.
Psalm 38:4 "My guilt has overwhelmed me like a guilt too heavy to bear."