The thaw has arrived.

What a pain in the ice.

Slowly, slowly, the sun's cheerful rays make headway, dents and dimples in the glassy surface of water long locked inside its frozen tomb.  Slowly, slowly, the thinnest spots succumb to Spring's kind gestures.  They become brittle, molecules abdicating, rejecting familiar choke-holds and death-grips on fellow molecules, changing state in nature's cosmic water cycle.

The centre, at the heart of the matter, keeps a stiff upper lip - and the rest of its body follows suit.  It is here, where the ice has held the longest, where the cold has sunk the deepest, where the breadth and scope of frigidity have been the most profound, that the real work is under way. The struggle to maintain the status quo or abandon the known hell for the unknown walks a fine line.

On warmer days, the melting seems sure.  Progress surges ahead.  Inroads into fluidity are a cause for celebration.  Then an overcast day arrives, or the less welcoming overnight temperatures set in, and the ice inexorably creeps back, shards of glass to defy all growth, assertion of a cold fist of contempt for daring to take the plunge.  The process is one unexpected plot twist after another, depending upon daily vagaries in the weather.

Talk about a pain in the ice...

Recovering from the winter seasons of life is definitely an exercise in patience.  For every step forward, there are more to turn the impetus on its head.  The extremes in emotional and spiritual temperatures can be dizzying.  As inner chaos is allowed release, we tread on thin ice, never sure - will this be a good day?  Will I succeed in keeping the pain at bay?

Grief, depression, PTSD, trauma, heart-ache - all are a pain in the ice.  All need exposure to the warmth of healing grace found in the Son.  All scream in the thaw, for raw gaping wounds do not deal well with any touch.

All require the thawing process, one molecule at a time.

 He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.  Psalm 147:18

When you have lived a lifetime frozen in order to keep the painful realities of this life in check, taking that first step into the Sonlight can be agonizing.  It makes us desperately vulnerable to name and face the wounds that immobilize our hearts.  It takes more courage than we have within us to look hard at what has sealed us shut.  When those rays of grace first strike our wounds, the pain of melting can drive us right back to the evil spell which kept us frozen.
And then comes the agonizing thaw - bit by painful bit, we let go of our expectations.  Pride.  Layers of self-protection that kept us together, but blocked us from truly being ourselves.  One step forward can trigger three steps back, regressions, a maelstrom of inner chaos leaking all over us (and those around us).
When the waters begin to flow, it hurts.  Oh, it hurts!  But one day, the thaw gets to the centre, the heart of the matter - and when the waves settle, the pain in the ice will be a memory.  The deep pools forged during the last Ice Age will reflect the glory of the Son's work in our lives - for when He stirs up the breezes, the waters flow.
Ice free.
Come into the Son, my friend.  I have found thawing power there, enough to release my ice-bound heart. 
Enough to thaw even the coldest pain in the ice...