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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Absolute Zero

We had this conversation in our Michigan home yesterday morning, as the kids woke up after forsaking their bedrooms to sleep by the wood stove.

"It's 9 degrees out."


"It'll get warmer. They forecast a high of 19."

"That's double!"

I'm not sure if my little one was thinking that's double cold, but the remark did get me thinking about how relative temperature is.

While the Fahrenheit scale is based on zero degrees being the coldest temperature Mr. Fahrenheit measured outdoors (with 100 being the warmest), and the Celsius scale is based on water freezing at zero and boiling at 100, both scales measure only what is familiar to human experience.

Scientists say "absolute zero" (the absence of all heat) is - 459.67° F. I don't know (and didn't find) what the hottest scientific temperature might be, but I'm guessing that it's also something I won't ever experience.

Recent cold has seemed downright intolerable. But if I consider absolute zero—the complete absence of any heat—zero Fahrenheit seems quite sufficient.

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

I'm inclined to think of God's grace the same way. We have good days that feel like high 70's with a gentle breeze and the sun shining pleasantly upon us, and we consider His grace sufficient. Then we get those zero degree days when circumstances seem downright intolerable.

But our conception of "zero" is relative. Think for a moment of what "absolute zero" grace would be. What would life be like with the absence of all God in our lives—the forecast for those who reject Him? Such a thought enables us to quickly recalculate our perspective and immediately see how abundant the His grace is on even the bad days.

I don't yet have experience with how high the Lord's grace goes, but I understand it goes something like this:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
~ 1 Corinthians 2:8-10 (NKJV)

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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that I cannot even comprehend what God has prepared for me! The thought is incredibly exciting and encouraging!

  2. You are right ~ life is better with Jesus through the "highs" and "lows". We have had uncommonly warm weather for winter here in the south. Maybe some will head your way soon.

  3. Mary, though I know well His goodness, I must constantly remind myself that God is far better than I can comprehend, and therefore, so is life.

  4. Patty, the warm weather always arrives here eventually. I'm simply grateful to own that wood stove. :D

  5. So when will I see your face on your profile pic again, pretty lil bear?

  6. GRACE! Praise Him, thank Him, worship Him for His Grace. Oh my a life without His Power is awful. And the Life He gives with His Power is awesome!

    Stay warm kids.

  7. Oh this hits. The absolute zero is really a sweet spot, a place where i know things to be true.

  8. Makala, how gracious God is to have called us, so that we shall never, ever know a life without Him and His incredible life. Awesome INDEED! (And yes, we're plenty warm by our nice fire, thanks. :D)

  9. Thanks, David. I'm so, so grateful to know that we receive a measure of grace that is ALWAYS in the temperate range, no matter how tough life gets.


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