It’s all sunshine and blue skies, until the storm moves in.
As the season moves from spring to summer flowers bloom, birds chirp, and people come out from hibernation as they bike, hike and walk to the beat of the new season.
Last weekend I took advantage of the wonderful weather by working outside sprucing up what little landscape I have by giving it a facelift. I put down new mulch, trimmed bushes, and planted new plants. It took a few hours to complete the task. It was so nice out that the weather left its mark on me. It left four distinct lines on my shoulders that outlined my shirt. After I put everything away, sat back, and reviewed the final project, I was quite pleased.
Then out of nowhere the sky darkened, the winds picked up, and the water behind me began to ripple. A storm was on its way and moving in quickly. Isn’t that what happens when the seasons shift? As we move from spring to summer storms appear with little to no warning.
I have family in the Midwest, and tis the season for tornados. If you live in an area where tornados are prevalent then you know exactly what I mean. The sky can be blue one minute, then clouds move in, it may get a bit windy as the clouds seem to thicken, then all of a sudden the air becomes calm as the funnel cloud forms and drops down. At that the tornado is off and spinning! It takes no prisoners as it leaves its mark.
Currently, I live in the southern hemisphere of the U.S. and we are approaching hurricane season. At least with that, we have some warning that one is coming. But, when it makes its appearance on land like its sibling the tornado – it takes no prisoners in its path.
No matter where you live, as spring leaves and summer takes its place, there is a shift. There will be times of turbulent, inclement, weather that cause interruptions in your plans.
But, isn’t it the same with life? As we grow with God, and he takes us from one season to the next turbulent, inclement, events may interrupt our plans. This is where I am now. You? Has He moved you from comfortable to uncomfortable? Is He adding, and removing, things or people from your life?
I say, adding and removing, because God does not do one without the other. Think about it.
In my morning devotional by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, she penned “Be careful not to complain about anything, even the weather, since I am the Author of your circumstances.” (April 11, Young) When I read those words I underlined, highlighted, and wrote them on an index card that sits on my table right in front of my face where I sit. I thanked God, then began my day.
It wasn’t long before the winds picked up and a storm was here. A storm of life. A storm that gave me warning, but then dropped down like a tornado. Car issues. Some of you may be shaking your head saying, “oh, I have been there – yuck,” or “I am there now – yuck.” Well, girlfriend, guy friend, I am here now, with you. And, yuck! Because, let me tell you, my car was just in the shop last week!
The storm is here. Or so I think because it feels like it. I really want to complain, vent, pout, and cry. But, now I am faced with the words of Sarah Young on the index card, and in this post, “Be careful not to complain about anything.” It doesn’t stop there, God tells us “Do everything without complaining.” (Phil. 2:14).
- Anything, and everything, with no complaining.
My family will be thrilled with this! I envision some of them right now laughing, and in their minds thanking God!
But why? Why when a storm comes, when it pours, blows, and spins us in different directions are we not to complain? I mean that is so easy to do. And, let’s be honest sometimes it makes us feel better.
I love how Paul begins the next verse in Phil. 2:15 right after he tells us not to complain. Paul begins with “so that.” (Phil. 2:15) You and I are not to complain so that:
- No one can criticize you
- We live clean innocent lives
- We act like children of God
- We shine like bright lights in a season where storms rage (Phil. 2:15 NLT)
That prompts the next question of how? When a storm blows in and turns things upside down, how do we do all of that? The answer lies in six words – “Hold firmly the message of life.” (Phil. 2:16a HCSB)
If you’ve ever been in a tornado, or a hurricane, neither are fun experiences. I’ve been in both. In both situations you seek shelter, and hold firmly to a strong object in a safe place. When life drops a storm on you hold firmly to the Word of God.
Monday I will take my car back to the shop, and as God instructs “Yes, you should rejoice.” (Phil. 2:18a NLT). Please don’t misunderstand, it won’t be rejoicing for destruction from a storm, instead a rejoicing in my spirit because “my spirit rejoices in God my savior!” (Lk. 1:47 NLT)
And, because I know it’s in the storm where God works best! Umbrella – check. Goulashes – check.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015