May 14, 2013

If You Don't Like the Weather, Wait 5 Minutes: It'll Change

Never has this adage about Midwestern weather been more appropriate.

Two weeks ago, there was snow coating my front lawn--SNOW. Today, less than 2 weeks later, we surpassed 100 degrees.

I may get whiplash.

There's a glimpse of God in this, though. One day my inner life feels freezing, every effort focused on trying not to snap my family members' heads off with my words. The next day (or two weeks later) I'm in a refining furnace as I deal with consequences of choices or just the circumstances of life. (An unforeseen accident that shattered my mate's rear windshield was on today's list.)

As each new fire or ice threat looms large, I get caught up in it. Sometimes I remember there's life beyond the struggle; sometimes I don't.

I wish I did a better job of remembering weather patterns. We had snow in May, sure, but usually the weather issue of the month is tornadoes. I've lived in the Midwest my entire life; I know when tornadoes could come, and I know what things signal their approach. I know what I can (and can't) do to brace for them. I don't worry that something I've done has somehow upset the balance of the summer and caused the tornado.

So why do I do that for spiritual things? Certain trials come because it's that season of life. Raising kids means a grad-level course in patience, mercy, wisdom, and self-control. Some trials come because of who I am (like tornadoes happening most often in Tornado Alley). The enemy of my soul knows where the chinks in my armor are; attacks via thought or perception often come in areas where I'm insecure.

Storms come and go; they rarely last for weeks. My days of faith and seasons of doubt will ebb and flow; the grace I possess in any and every situation will sometimes shine and sometimes fail. That's OK.

I want to remember that if I don't like my spiritual weather, I can wait 5 minutes; it'll change.

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