“The Danish term ‘hygge’ refers to the act of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Hygge is a warm, glowing feeling that is often found while relaxing with good food, family and friends. It’s the cosy warmth and contentment that a cup of tea and a blanket bring on a cold winter’s day.”
The days are getting cooler, and hygge sounds like perfection to me. Some say too that hygge is cocoa by candlelight. Some say woolly socks.
As it turns out hygge is actually quite hard to translate into English. We have no one English word equivalent. But one definition that intrigues me is “cosiness of the soul.” Because at the end of the day, I think that’s the life God wants for us. For our soul to be cosy. For our soul to prosper and be well.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 1:2)
It might be hard explain or pronounce hygge but at the end of the day as Winnie the Pooh so wisely said “you don’t spell it, you feel it.‘
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It’s hard sometimes. To not be anxious. To not be worried or stressed about events in life. General pressures, work situations, mistakes, unexpected occurrences, can all have us anxious. And who hasn’t felt anxious? Who hasn’t been worried, apprehensive, fearful, uneasy, perturbed, disquieted, troubled, agitated, tense, stressed, overwrought…. over something in life?
But here is Paul, telling us not to be anxious ever! He doesn’t ignore the fact that we may have cause to be worried. Instead he offers us a solution, by taking the situation to God, we can trade our anxiety for His peace. Our worry for His rest. God’s peace means tranquillity, calm, freedom from internal strife. You’re still in the storm but God’s peace prevails in your heart and mind. In essence, we can pray and not worry as we give our concerns to the Lord.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’ (1 Peter 5:7)
To be honest, sometimes when I peer into the future I get a little scared. Will it all be okay? Will the happily ever after happen? And so quickly fear begins to rear its head. It builds up seeking to overwhelm. Like floodwaters or a fast incoming tide.
In these times I think I need to man up, show up, gear up! I think I need to be braver, stronger. Have more courage, have more faith.
But the antidote to fear is not about me stepping up. Not is it me demonstrating greater faith.
It is quite simply love.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4:18)
The opposite of fear is not faith or even courage…it is love.
It is being conscious of the love of God for us. It is knowing that God, who loves us, is in control. And even more so, it is about abiding in God – for God IS love.
“For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Kintsugi is Japanese for “golden joinery”. It is the art of repairing pottery with gold. In other words, to patch with gold. With Kintsugi the brokenness, the cracks are not hidden or disguised when repaired, but they are made beautiful, celebrated with the gold that holds them together.
In Japan restoring the broken is an art. The heart of it all – turning what is broken into beautiful, cherished pieces, sealed by gold. Flaws are not hidden but highlighted, creating a whole new design and bringing unique beauty to the original piece. The pottery actually becomes more beautiful and valuable in the restoration process because, though it was once broken, it not only has history, but a new story.
The scars of our lives – the loss, the heartache, the hurt are still there to be seen. But they are part of our story and become part of our beauty when we allow God’s healing love and power to take our brokenness and restore us. It is in the cracks and in our scars that we see God’s power to restore.
I guess that’s what God means when He said that He will give us a crown of beauty for ashes. The parts of our lives that we think are ugly or hard, God transforms into beauty.
Remember too, that when the Disciples saw our Risen Lord they saw Him with His scars. His wounds. Part of His story, our story.
ANZAC Day. A National Day of Remembrance commemorating all New Zealanders and Australians who have served and died in Wars. It is a time to pause, to reflect on the sacrifice of so many for the life we enjoy today.
Without the day, the poppies, it is easy to forget the lives sacrificed, the battles fought for us. It’s easy to forget that without these brave soldiers, our lives would be so different. It is easy to forget in the busyness of our days, the very gift from these soldiers.
It’s easy to forget.
The Israelites too, they forgot. They forgot God. They forgot what He had done for them, how He had got them out of Egypt. They forget the miracles. And when you forget, you stop believing, you start losing the faith.
‘They forgot the God who saved them. who had done great things in Egypt.” (Psalms 106:21)
It’s easy for us to forget too. To forget the blessings from God. To forget the answered prayers, the healings, the breakthroughs.
King David said ‘Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me.’ (Psalm 103:3)
It’s something we need to tell ourselves as well. To remind ourselves to never forget what God has done for us. It will increase our faith and remind us in our today, that God is there with us.
Lest we forget.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25)
Today, everyday, this is the reality of Easter. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. He conquered death, and victory was secured.
This glorious truth, that Jesus is the Resurrection, was shared to Martha long before His journey to the Cross. Before His death was even imagined or comprehended by His disciples.
In terms of time, we may live on the other side of the Cross and we live with the knowledge that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried and rose again on the third day. But still, this is a declaration that Jesus makes to us today. We don’t need to wait for “the last day” to experience the resurrection power of Jesus. Jesus is here now, raising us to a new kind of life through His Spirit.
So the question that Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” is the same for us today. Do we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Today? Now? Not just for a date in the future but for our today?
Her reply, “Yes Lord, I believe”