Monday, March 30, 2009

Winter Storms

This should be a great day to blog. I am stranded inside with another snow storm raging outside. Yet, I am sitting here with a gloomy attitude thinking "I need some sun God! Where is the beauty of Spring?"

Sometimes in the long winters of South Dakota, it can be hard to see the beauty of the earth that God created. I can compare these dreary days to how I tend to feel spiritually at times. Throughout my spiritual journey there have been many seasons.

I think that I experience my seasons of springtime when I discover something new in my faith. When God peels another layer off of my hardened heart and helps me to see something through His eyes and not my own.

When I think of summer faith, I think of joy filled days. My summer season is the balanced days when I don't let the busyness of life overtake me. I enjoy every aspect of my day. In my faith journey it is the days that I wake up and focus on my faith first. I am not hurried by what else needs to be done.

Fall is the season of preparation. The plants are preparing themselves for the cold winter that is right around the corner. In my faith it is sometimes frantic days that I am preparing myself for a storm. I am not sure when it is coming and how bad it will be, but I need to be prepared for whatever happens.

Unfortunately my spiritual life has spent too much time in winter. Days when there is little sunshine. The days are shorter and colder. The days when I focus only on myself. Days that I would like to just shut myself out to the rest of the world and stay in my warm house where I am comfortable.

God doesn't intend for us to live our lives focusing on the cold, gray days of winter. I think he intends for us to combine all of the other seasons into our lives depending on the day and the circumstances that surround them.

Lately in South Dakota, fall, spring and summer run into each other. In fall we can have really warm summer days. In summer we can experience the cooler spring days. In spring we can feel the heat of summer.

Some days we are meant to be in the preparation mode of fall. God places warnings on our hearts of when and how we are supposed to prepare ourselves for the upcoming storms of life. But he doesn't want us to be frantic and stay in that place. He wants us to grow everyday like the plants do in spring. He wants us to become mature, strong plants that cannot be knocked over when an early spring rainstorm hits. I think he wants us to be filled with the joy of summer everyday, filled with the light that He places into our lives. However, he doesn't want us to become exhausted in the heat of the day and not replenish ourselves through Him.

So even though the storm rages outside, I know that I am not supposed to stay comfortable in my warm and cozy home. I am supposed to clothe myself with His protection and weather the storm. I am supposed to spend time in prayer and Bible study preparing myself for when the next storm hits. I need to concentrate on where I need to grow and change. I should never feel that I have gained all the wisdom that I need and stop growing. I do not want to become the plant that goes dormant after all of its fruit has been produced for the year.

I think that the seasons in nature are a great reminder to me about the seasons of life. They are unpredictable and constantly changing. We can have a snowstorm in April or 50 degree weather in December. If we rely on God, He has given us the protection we need to weather any storm, to get through every season. And even though there is no sun to be seen outside. He is shining a bright light in my life that can overcome any darkness that I may feel.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

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