Saturday, August 1, 2009

Heat Reflections

Yesterday, while driving my daughter to work in Monroe, I had the strangest feeling come over me. Suddenly I was cold! Just the day before I had questioned whether or not the air conditioner actually worked. Turns out it works just fine as long as the temp stays below 90 degrees. It seems that after 90 the poor little air conditioner is not able to keep up. It is the same story in my house with our little room air conditioner. It seemed like the unit had quit functioning since the house still seemed unbearably hot, yet this morning as I write this, the room seems almost too cool. It too, seems to function best when the temp stays under 90. I function best at 73 degrees myself and wilt with each increasing degree. For me it still seems unbearably hot but this is summer, my least favorite season of the year! The heat in my life functions about the same way as the heat in my home and the car. When my life overheats from the difficulties and crisis in my life it can seem like the air conditioner, God, is not working. It just seems hot and difficult and unbearable. It can feel like nothing is changing and that nothing ever will. It is a hot, dry, and painful place to be. Like heat, lifes difficulties can make us shut down. It is hard to keep going in the desert. It takes every effort we have to stay focused on God and believe that He is working in our lives and in our situation. But if we endure, when we don't give up, we come to a cooler place, we see that God is working. Like todays weather, it is still hot, the kind of hot that a wimpy western Washingtonian like me does not like, but in the heat we can feel the cooling presence of God. He is there, in the midst of our deepest crisis. There may be a few days when we don't see what He is doing. There are days when we may doubt that He is paying attention to our pain, but hang in there. He is there, the cooling breezes will come. He is in control. He does love His children. Struggles are lonely places. It does not matter whether you have told anyone what you are going through or whether you keep it quiet, they are a lonely place. Others can encourage us, pray for us, love us, and even help us, but they cannot fix or bear the troubles that each of us go through. We walk with God through life, its joys and its sorrows. We bear them together with Him. In your desert spot it may seem that God has forgotten you, but He has not. You may feel utterly alone, but you are not. You may wonder why life is the way it is. It is in that moment that we must believe without seeing, hope without knowing the outcome, trust that the quilt God is creating is beautiful and that my pain is allowed to perfect His design.

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