Thinking. Pondering. Feeling.
Pain. Frustration. Weariness. Unknown. Endurance. Tenacity.
I’m a summer girl all the way. Something about it makes my heart happy – I don’t know if it’s the sunshine and warmth… or maybe it’s the flip flops & campfires & barefeet & daisies. 😉 I adore summer.
Summer to me = warmth and happiness and fullness of life.
Winter to me= dreariness and cold and scary snow driving and frozen fingers and ugly brown dead trees.
Okay, so I’m trying to work on the I-hate-winter attitude. :p
I’m starting to come to grips with the reality that spring and summer are so much sweeter if you’re first come through a long, hard winter. Especially if there are snow storms every other week and every winter you break last year’s record for how many times you’ve got stuck. *ahem*
Once spring fiiiiiiiiinally comes around, the new leaves are so much more exciting when there’s just been four months of bare limbs. Flowers are so much more beautiful to the eye after much snow-covered ground. Warmth and short sleeves are so much more welcome after experiencing heavy winter coats and frozen fingers.
(Okay I realize I have a little way to go on the attitude — at least snow is pretty and there is Christmas and sledding is fun!! 😀 Oh and cute wintery boots and scarves are a plus too 😀 And if you happen to love winter, well then I applaud you heartily. ;))
So when I think about winter vs. spring/summer and night vs. morning in Psalm 30:5 (“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”), my natural tendency is to react negatively about winter & night seasons, and desperately long for the summer and morning. Of course one wants warmth and joy — why on earth would you want to be weeping in the harsh cold?
But God puts us in those hard cold seasons for a reason. I don’t really understand why, except that it builds character — a very wise person just told me this recently and read these verses aloud:
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” [Romans 5:3-5)
Sometimes one just gets weary of the winter cold. Deep down discouraged soul-weary.
Switching gears a bit, a few notes from a weekend seminar Mom and I went to in Michigan last Saturday… this part really challenged me.
When God does not behave as you think He should, there are negative ways of reacting:
*Take care of it myself/become God to myself
*Just do it myself this once, reasoning that I’m not rejecting God totally
*Reject God entirely
How we should positively react:
Acknowledge the pain or event:
-where, why, how it hurts (Honestly and candidly with God)
Put it into our frame of reference:
–how it affects me/my life- Ie: “God, this really hurts because of this ________ and affects me here ______….”
We can feel and feel all day long… it’s okay to go there, as long as at the end of the day we decide not to decide. We so readily pass judgement on God without being able to see the big picture. We still need to declare that it was Father-filtered and keep walking the walk, even when we don’t understand. “God is still good.”
[my paraphrase of Arthur Burk]
The end never looked so far but
If you won’t take me out
Then please take me through this Stay with me so I won’t leave
And make me see that this is not forever
‘Cause all I need is your love pulling me What is the reason for this night
Is hope found in moments with no light
Does strength grow in our greatest fears
God I pray something good will come from this pain
^”Stay With Me” BarlowGirl song that I just discovered today. Wow.
Oh Lord, bring beauty and life out of the seasons we find ourselves in.