A Change Of Truth

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This was the view out my back window a day or so ago. It was a cold, but sunny Spring day with tempreatures in the low 40’s and I took a motorcycle ride as it was spitting snow. Quite a miracle to say the least, since two weeks ago at this time we had 10 inches of snow on the ground, and blizzard conditions all across the area. People were laboring with shovles, snowblowers and slippery roads. Yet today, everything is very different. It’s still cold for this time a year, but the snow is nearly all gone and now it’s raining.  This cold weather does not change the truth. The truth is, there is a promise of warmer days just ahead.

This time of year the rapidly changing weather reminds me so much of life in general. One day you can be up to your eyeballs in problems and pain, only to be released from it a few days or weeks later. The point being, nothing in life is permanant, and we need to remember this powerful truth when things get tough. Enjoy every moment that is wonderful, but patiently endure when it’s not. The struggle of today can be gone in a flash, and a new reality can rule the situation before you know it. The sun shining on your face one minute can be covered by dark snow clouds a moment later. So, because everything changes so rapidly, we must learn to live with it, and flourish in spite of it.

All living things grow, change, move and respond to the environment around them. These are the signs of life, and they tell us whether something is healthy, or not. In fact, everything goes through seasons of fruitfulness and barrenness, but as long as it keeps growing and adapting to what is around, it will survive. More than that, many things will actually thrive in the most adverse conditions, simply because they have learned how to use the tough surroundings to grow stronger.

As people, we are really no different. Our situation can be healthy or heartbreaking, easy or difficult, or even quite deadly at times. We may be misused, abused, overlooked or even thought to be unworthy of basic human knidness by the brutes of this world. Yet in all of this, one thing still stands true; no one has the power to stop you from rising above it all to become what God created you to be. Nothing this world can throw at you is able to prevent you from saying “No! I will not let this define me, because only God has the power and authority to do that in my life.”

When I consider all the nasty things that happen, and all the nasty people who speak and do unkind things, the only thing that really matters is what God says about me. He is the defining force that shapes my thoughts, rules my world and guides my feet to safety. Other’s will come and go, like the winter snow. They are here for now, to bring another blast of misery, and then fade away. God alone is the unchanging break of dawn that points me to where I need to be going. He is the spring breeze that melts every pocket of ice and snow others dumped into the landscape of my life.

No matter how difficult things may be for you right now, your Spring thaw will come. Every day the Son’s Love is moving towards you, and getting stronger. The icy blast of winter words spoken by ignorant people will always give way to it’s power. It is fixed by the inevitable, unstopable, continual, relentless persuit of God. No one can resist Him, and nothing can prevent His Love from fulfilling it’s appointed design in you. This is the season of fulfilled promises. Those who hold on, and wait just a little bit longer, will have their mouths filled with laughter and their hearts filled with joy.

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to get up, and look with expectation for a holy invasion of God’s furious love. If you are in the dark night of your soul, look to the eastern horizon and you will soon see the faint glow of the coming dawn. Trust in God one more time, and you will not be disapointed. The Son will rise with healing in His wings, and you will yet go forth with that victorious shout of joy for all to hear. You are a champion in the Lord, and nothing the world can do will ever change that truth.

Delayed Promise

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I looked out my window today expecting to hear the sound of geese flying over head, and see Robins gathering worms on my lawn. Instead, I was greeted by the the sight of another layer of snow that came with a brisk north wind, and the weatherman’s prediction of freezing temperatures for the greater portion of the week. This is NOT my idea of a fulfilled promise for the long-awaited arrival of Spring.

Those of us who have spent our lives in upstate New York, understand all too well, the reality of what can come our way this time of year. We are not shocked when one week is warm, and the soft breeze is summer-like. The snow melts and out come the motorcycles and bar-b-que grills. The lawns get raked on those beautiful, sunny days, and life feels good. This can be followed by an arctic blast that rips down from Canada. Snow covers the newly thawed land, and everything is frozen solid again. As one neighbor of mine so aptly put it, “this weather is like manic-depression, with no meds”.

Yet, even during the fridge, snowy return of winter, there also comes a glimmer of hope. Small “snow flowers” in my garden press through the cold, white covering, and lift their flowered heads toward daylight. No matter how bitter it gets, or how much it snows, these flowers always, and I mean always, come up. They continue to blossom through the worst of it, and this is a powerful reminder to me that delayed hope is just that. It is hope in a season of delay until the promised answer finally comes…… and it always comes!

We all have hopes and dreams that impact our lives deeply. They can come in a hundred different forms, and each profoundly changes the way we view everything. We look to the future for better jobs, closer relationships with those we love, financial development, physical healing and emotional growth. This is because no one wants to stay as they are, or in the same situation, from now until the day they die. Our dreams and visions are what compel us to do new things, climb that next mountain and take risks. Without a vision of promise, the Bible says, “the people perish”. We need this if we are going to be healthy, and obtain the very things for which we were placed here on earth.

However, there is the proverbial “monkey wrench” in the gears of life that can knock the strongest of us to our knees. There are times when our promise gets delayed, and there is nothing we can do about it. Things can get held up and stalled, for no apparent reason, and this sets up a conflict. Nothing anyone does or says helps to explain it. Worse yet, is the fact that in those times even God is often silent, other than to whisper, “Do you trust Me?” It is in these moments of delayed promise that we must make a decision which goes contrary to the very nature within us. The “somehow there must be a way I can fix it” attitude we fall back on, has to be held in check or even worse things can happen.

Years ago, one of my best friends had an experience with delay that taught him a very profound lesson. He and his family were in a van headed to the store. They were running late and proceed to hit every red light in town. After the second or third red light in a row, he was getting very impatient and was planning to jump the light. The moment it turned green, he hit the gas pedal, and for no apparent reason, his engine die on the spot. In anger, he jam on the brakes, put it in park and turned the key in the ignition. At that very moment, a huge truck blew right through the light, inches from the front of his vehicle. Had he not experienced that moment of delay, they would have all been killed.

Has your promise been delayed? Is the hope you once had now fading into the distance? Could it be that your unfulfilled promises are really God’s way of keeping you safe and teaching you what you need to know for the day it comes? If you feel the cold north wind of empty promises swirling around you, let me suggest that it’s time to begin looking for the snow flowers. It’s time to refocus your attention on the good all around you that has already happened. Develop a heart of gratitude for what is still growing in the snow storm. It is this kind of resilience, at just the right time, that has the power to prepare you and propel you into your future.

It is true that a change of thinking will not stop the snow from falling outside my window. However, it is also true that the internal change I make about it impacts my heart, and that my friends will stop ME from falling. Learning how to patiently wait in a silent season of delay is the treasure I am after. Remember, during a test the teacher never speaks. If God is silent in your current season, it’s just a test, and you can do more than simply endure the delay. You can flourish in it and be better equipped to enjoy the promise that is yet to come. So, stop the whining… follow directions…. do your best… and when it’s over, every promised blessing God is holding for you, will be handed over to you.