“Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’” John 11:40 (NIV)
This past winter a lot of the country went through a significant period of deep, bone-chilling temperatures. At the time of this writing, I honestly have forgotten how many weeks it’s been since the thermometer has been above a single digit number and that doesn’t account for the wind chill factored in either. Yesterday was the first day I started to acknowledge that I’m cold … really cold. I’ve been trying to maintain a positive attitude about the cold snap. “It can’t last that long … it should break soon … remember I’d rather be cold and try to warm up than be hot and not able to cool down.” However, all that positive self-talk finally gave in this week to the simple truth that it’s freezing and I’m freezing no matter how many layers I put on. And I allowed myself to acknowledge that fact.
This morning I listened to the seven-day weather report and saw two days next week of 36 degrees. Those numbers seem almost spring like compared to what we’ve experienced. And I realized while it’s been probably over two weeks of frigid, arctic like temperatures, next week we’ll get relief. And I’m hopeful again. Even though I’m still chilled to the bone despite how many cups of hot coffee and hot tea I’m drinking, by next week I’ll be peeling off at least one of the three layers and may even break out into a sweat.
The bitterly cold weather reminded me of my spiritual life. When I would face challenges or difficulties in life, I tried to maintain a positive attitude, especially when they first began. “Oh, this won’t last long. It’s a good learning experience. Soon this test/training/lesson will be over, I’ll have learned what I was supposed to and be ready to move on to some rest in between the storms life gives.” But then days turned into weeks and there usually came a time when I finally acknowledged, “Okay, God, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It’s not ending nearly as quickly as I thought it should. There are more factors to this than I originally planned for,” and I began complaining, either out loud or inwardly. But then God, in His mercy, would show me a few days of higher than normal temperatures and I would realize, “Oh, there is an end … it will get better” and all of a sudden the weeks, months and years that our family dealt with an issue didn’t seem as long or as hard as they were when we were walking through them.
I wrote this post while still experiencing the cold snap even though you’re reading it in the spring when all thoughts of snow are a distant memory. Another great reminder to me to always praise God while I’m still going through the trial because it will get better, eventually. Then, when the trial finally is over, I can look back and realize it wasn’t as bad as it felt when I was actually walking through it. Or, maybe it was seriously that bad … but God got me through.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018