Winter is here with a vengeance. I do not think I have experienced a winter where there is such a roller coaster of a temperature ride. We have just experienced arctic temperatures that are dangerous. Then we race into the 50’s with a warming trend. We had snow last week which was 3 inches or so, plowed that out and the next day it rains with warm air. What a war of weather fronts!
Our granddaughter was married Saturday the 26th in the middle of snowing. It made for beautiful pictures and a chilling recessional. Yet, those pictures and memories will last their whole life. Sometimes adversity is difficult in the moment, but yields great memories and stories in the long run.
We have been somewhat in that arena for years now. However, being forged on this anvil of stress has yielded some really good things. When you are in the furnace of affliction you soon find what is of value and essential.
The Holy Spirit works with all of us. He is patient and kind. He gives time for change. While I am wanting change NOW, he works things around so that all involved can benefit if they will. I have thought at times, why are they not changing, or why do they not see this truth or that way? In those moments there are interpersonal conflicts. Believer is struggling with another believer. We want to form sides. Sometimes people want to win, defeat the other person or group, gather folks to their side and win. Some even go so far as to want the other side to die, fail, vanish. However, I have been surprised at God. He works with all. He lovingly guides each. For the one may have felt the leading of the Spirit in one direction and the other does not. They both may be right and the interpersonal conflict is necessary to free both to follow the Spirit’s leading for their lives.
To want to win at the expense of the others is human nature, but not godly. We all have been there until we are corrected by the Lord. The Lord will win in both cases. And each will have to spend eternity with one another. I do not believe we will hide in our corner and refuse to talk to the folks in the throne room. I do not think we will refuse to speak when we bump into them on the streets of New Jerusalem.
Like the weather our lives can be balmy, peaceful, and tranquil and then suddenly, there is a storm and a drop in temperature that is soul chilling. The illusion of life always being under control is shattered regularly. We, like the thermometer, can set new record lows and highs although we long for a steady 72 degrees.
What really matters is maintaining a sense of value, integrity, love for one another, and the knowledge of constantly growing in the direction of conforming to the image of Jesus.
- Pastor Bill