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Swelter vs. Shiver

July 28, 2011

While the rest of the country swelters, Seattleites continue to shiver.  “Are we ever going to get a summer?” I hear people complaining everywhere – at work, at church, and in the grocery store.  “This is ridiculous; we’re in the middle of July and it’s cloudy, wet, and in the low 60s.”   

 On Sunday, from my vantage point at the piano, I looked over the congregation. Hmm, I thought to myself.  Look how many women are wearing little white sweaters.  So badly we want summery clothes, but if we wear them in full force, we’ll be reduced to little heaps of quivering gooseflesh.   While the pastor drives home the important points he’s worked so hard to prepare, we’re distracted by our trembling limbs.  Thus, over our pretty, sleeveless outfits, the little white sweater makes its appearance. 

 Sadly, for those of us who have weathered many Northwest summers, we know that we may end up waiting until next year for a real summer.  Eventually, however, the warm weather will come.  Not as soon as we’d like perhaps, but it will come.  No matter how awful this period seems, the sun will always shine again, and getting angry won’t make it come any faster.

 Several years ago I went through a gut wrenchingly sad time.  As I slogged through emotionally grey days, I wondered if I’d ever feel like smiling again.  I’d been hurt by other Christians and wanted to withdraw, to stay away, not let there be a chance for another slap in the face.

I tried skipping church, but a verse I’d memorized a year earlier rolled through my head like a broken record.  “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!”  Psalm 119:10.  The verse never left me.  I’d be in a grocery store trying to decide between cheddar and mozzarella, mowing my lawn, or reading a novel; and those powerful words found their way into my consciousness.  I could not ignore them, and with each repetition, I remembered why I’d loved the verse in the first place.   I wanted to live my whole life strong for God, never having regrets for a time when I’d fallen away from His guidance.

I believe that verse saved me from one of the biggest mistakes I could ever make – the mistake of taking my eyes off Jesus and dwelling on the actions of people.  I would have let my hurt heart impact my effectiveness for God.

 As with all wounds, mine began to heal; and as I let God teach me, I began to see my own shortcomings and faults.  How many times have I been angry at another believer only to have my Bible fall open to “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?  But there is forgiveness with You, that you may be feared.” Psalm 130:3-4   

As forgiveness began to soften my heart, I realized not only was I able to smile, but I was able to laugh.  An important lesson had been learned.

 No matter how long and difficult the overcast days may seem, no matter how great our sorrow and burdens now, the sun will shine again.  The question is, when the clouds have passed you by, will you open your heart’s door to let the sun shine in, or will you keep it bolted tight with the locks of anger and unforgiveness?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2011 7:39 pm

    I started writing this blog a week ago; and wouldn’t you know, the sun came out in full force today. I smiled all the way through it. 🙂

  2. August 1, 2011 8:01 pm

    You were prophetic and encouraging at the same time!

    • August 1, 2011 8:39 pm

      I knew if I wrote a blog about the bad weather, it’d turn around. Now if I could only help the people who are still sweltering. 🙂

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