Last night was a beautiful evening, and I was SO ready for it. I sat on our deck while barbequing some fish and enjoying a little refreshment. Yes, I would have preferred the air to have been 20-30 degrees warmer. But there was no breeze, along with no bugs, and no rain. Sunny, but cool – and I was loving it.
I spent two and a half days at the family cottage this week. My task was listed as “spring cleanup and summer preparation.” There were more leaves on the ground than I expected, but the rain each day held off until after dark. These old joints of mine became quite sore, but the work got done – and the place is all set for another season of enjoyment.
My wife, Monica, has been experiencing quite a bit of back pain over the recent months. We figured that her spinal cord stimulator, after eight years, might need some updating or repairs. When she finally gave in and spoke with a doctor, he said the X-ray seems to indicate more of a disk issue similar to what resulted in a spinal fusion +30 years ago. At that time we were warned she might need the same surgery repeated every 10 years, but we are still praying that her upcoming myelogram suggests a less invasive solution. And, while this may slow her down, you can be sure Monica is not going to allow it to stop her from enjoying life.
Sunny, but cool … More work and a little wearier than anticipated … Lots of pain with more challenges ahead … Seldom and often short-lived are the times when life is ideal in this fallen world. Some times will be worse than others, and some people’s lives will appear to be more difficult than most. Yet, for God’s people in Christ Jesus, every day is saturated with blessing, promise, and hope. “So,” as Saint Paul writes, “We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4.16-18)
Elsewhere Saint Paul puts it this way, “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call to God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3.13-14) It is easy – natural in fact – to be dragged down as we focus solely on the downside of life. We miss the sunny as we complain about the cool. Yet, every day our Good Shepherd continues to send the sun our way … in the hope that we will see and enjoy it.
They say it is likely to rain today and tomorrow, and the prediction is the temperature to remain cooler than it should be through next Thursday. This means that quite a few days will be sunny, but cool. My question is, “What are you going to do about it?”
As you well know, we cannot do anything about the weather – except perhaps to read the national forecast each morning and then jump on an airplane to the most desirable destination (and who can afford to do that?). A much more practical strategy is to remember that “the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” A cloud may have taken Jesus out of our sight (Acts 1.9), but his promise remains true. “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.20)
Sunny, but Cool. I was enjoying it, but some people were looking for rain. It was a little cool to my likings, but others complain when it gets warm. Seldom and often short-lived are the times when life is ideal in this fallen world. Some times will be worse than others, and some people’s lives will appear to be more difficult than most. Yet, for God’s people in Christ Jesus, every day is saturated with blessing, promise, and hope.
Thus my prayer for you today is that you “do not lose heart” … that you recognize your afflictions are but “light and momentary” … and you listen to – and believe – Jesus as he says to you, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” … knowing that he has “plans for your well-being and hope, … to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29.11) … Now that’s Cool!