“God has a place for every planned creation; a path for every star to go …”

Late last summer, I remember someone saying, “We are going to have a ‘hard winter.’”  I don’t exactly remember the reasons that person gave for being able to predict a hard winter.  I wish I could remember them because it turned out that he was right.  It would be nice to know such things in order to be able to predict the weather that accurately myself.

Of course, I suppose he had a 50 percent chance of being right either way.  I mean, we either have a hard winter, or we don’t.  Happens that way every year.

Who could have known, though, just how hard the winter would be?  I mean, our church has cancelled more services already since January of this year than we have in the past several years put together.

Who could have known how many days the schools would have to close this year?  A teacher friend of mine was telling me this last week that the schools in Heber Springs will have to make up so many “snow days” that they will be attending class until June 6. 

Sorry about that boys and girls.  Of course, you were praying and hoping each night this winter that the ice would come and the snow would fall so you could miss school.  Now, you have to make up for it.  Be careful what you wish for.

As bad as the winter was, however, it now appears we are finally headed toward spring, that “Easter Spell” notwithstanding.  (My mother always advised, “Don’t plant your garden until after that little Easter Spell.”)  I would dare say, though, that we have made it through the hard winter and have come out on the other side.

When I was a young teenager, I remember hearing the song “His Way, Mine!”  I searched the music stores back then until I found the sheet music and learned the song myself.  It turned out that the song was written by the father and uncle of someone who later became a friend of mine at Baylor University.

Anyway, I still remember the words.  “God has a place for every planned creation; a path for every star to go …” The second verse says, “Tho shadows come and valleys seem unending, still I know He makes a way for me.”

“Though valleys seem unending …” Though winters seem unending … Though troubles seem unending …

Valleys do end.  Winters end.  All troubles do end.

All things eventually come to an end, whether bad things or good things.  As the Apostle Paul said, “But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.” (1 Corinthian 13: 8 NRSV)

The one thing Paul tells us will not end is love.  The love of God never ends.  In love God will guide us even through the valleys that seem unending, if we allow him to. 

It has been a hard winter … in more ways than one.  In our family, there have been seemingly endless valleys of surgeries, medical procedures, tests, financial difficulties, health issues.  A hard winter indeed!  At times, it seems unending.

“Still I know He makes a way for me.”

(The Rev. Al Henager is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Heber Springs, Arkansas.  He can be contacted at alhenager@gmail.com.)