I love the different seasons of the year. Summer is my least favorite because in Southwest Georgia it’s hot and humid and you’re swatting away gnats 24/7. Winter can be cold, dark, and dead. Winters in the South aren’t so bad, but I’ve been in Alaska in January and there aren’t enough clothes and hand warmers to make me comfortable. I do love winter in the mountains. I often take a study break just to get away and hopefully get snowed in for a few days. I love spring when the trees begin to bud and the flowers start to bloom. Spring reminds me that life comes out of death. My favorite season is fall, when the leaves are changing and the air begins to cool. Sweater weather is my favorite weather. There’s nothing like that first fire in the fireplace to relax my mind and heart.
Life has seasons. There are seasons when it seems the wind is always at your back and the sun is always shining. Those are the times when we can easily assume it will always be this way. We look around and everyone is healthy and happy, and life is good. There may be a few blustery days, but on the whole it’s one of those seasons where we see blessings on every corner.
Every season, however, has storms. Even in our favorite season, things can change quickly. A storm can blow through and suddenly everything seems out of order. The perfectly manicured yard is now covered with limbs and leaves. The flowers that were blooming the day before have been beaten down. It can happen suddenly, sometimes without warning.
An unexpected phone call, a poor doctor’s report, a financial setback – these storms can come in a thousand forms. In some ways they are all different, but yet they are all the same. The storms in any season create a new normal, either temporary or permanent. Sometimes time brings recovery and healing, and other times it’s just learning to live in a new reality.
Some people are storm watchers, consumed with storms. If there’s not a storm presently, they think one is coming. They will bend your ear telling every detail of their storm, past or present. Their tone, countenance, and attitude have all become focused on the storms. They can’t see a sunrise, sunset, or rainbow without pointing out a day when the sun didn’t shine. They talk about their storms, focus on their storms, and compare their storms with others. They can’t get above the storm, so they allow it to beat them down.
Never get in a conversation with someone trying to top their testimony about the bad seasons in their lives. In the storm, everyone loses perspective. The sun refuses to shine, the night is dark, our friends seem to run for the tall grass, and our options appear limited at best.
When the seasons suddenly change, you need a storm shelter. You need a place to run and hide. That place is a person – Jesus is your shelter in the storm. He is faithful and true, no matter what season you are facing. Paul had his share of storms, but he learned to live in the sufficiency of Christ. He found that God’s grace was greater than anything he was going through.
Don’t let the storm permeate your thinking. Don’t find yourself blown away or sucked into the current of negative thinking. The natural thing is to focus on the storm, hoping for a new season. But what if the new season comes and the adversity hasn’t been removed? Look to the Savior in the storm. See Him in every season.
There are things you can’t fix. There are situations that aren’t going to change. Don’t walk through life as a victim; decide you will live victoriously in Christ. He has to become your life. He has to be your source of joy. He can be your peace in the midst of the storm. If you are in a good season, praise God. If you are in a storm, praise Him that He’s in the storm with you. You are never alone. He is always with you. He sees. He knows. He cares. Focus on your Savior, not your storm. “Peace, be still.”
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Thank you, Pastor…. I needed to hear it.