This morning, I awoke to another bitter cold Northern Indiana morning. My phone said three degrees.




I have dealt with colder temperatures these last two winters than I have ever in my life. From leaky roofs to frozen pipes, it’s been trying. It’s not supposed to get this cold here!


When I looked out the window, I saw one of my favorite sights of winter: the plants and trees coated in ice crystals—the results of an early morning icy fog, as if someone spray painted everything with this beautiful, glistening crystal paint, though much more beautiful then anything manmade.


The sight immediately gave me a reason to reflect. I couldn’t help but think about how moments in our life are much like that morning. I have faced incredibly harsh conditions, much like the kind that need to exist to create an icy fog. In the midst of it, these moments are bitter and cuts deep. “It’s not supposed to be like this!” Sometimes, though, when those foggy moments start to lift, we are left with an incredible beauty that only those harsh conditions in life could’ve created.

I have definitely experienced those as well. They have consisted of a more confident approach, a hope that I didn’t think could hold, the ability to love in ways I never understood, a happier approach to life, satisfaction, contentment, joy, and much more.


But just like the ice crystals on the trees and bushes, if you don’t take the time to appreciate it, notice it, and embrace it, you’ll miss it. The sun rises, warms the air, and that beautiful moment can fade away.


Embrace the harshest conditions and see what beauty might unfold as a result of them.


Keith Sampson

Executive Coordinator – God of Hope