My how quickly things change! Last week I wrote to you about the warm weather and the beautiful leaves changing colors. It was a Fall wonderland and so lovely. Today, I saw snow. Twice. As I write this, it’s 36 degrees with a wind chill of 28. It’s too warm for the snow to stick to the ground and I have only seen a few flurries, but how different it feels from just a week ago! To say there’s a chill in the air is putting it mildly. It’s cloudy, blustery, and the kind of weather that makes you want to curl up by a fireplace with some hot cider…or take a nap.
I know I’m on a weather/seasons kick, but living in a place where the seasons change so dramatically will do that to a person. When the seasons change I can’t help but think about the different seasons I’ve gone through in life. After church on Sunday I had the opportunity to share with a team of people who are leaving on Friday for Haiti. They will teach hygiene, drill a well, and share the hope of Christ to people who know great suffering.
Speaking to them was difficult for me. A few seasons ago, before my body was attacked by chronic illness, I was the one going. I was the one traveling to another culture and sharing the hope found in Jesus Christ. On Sunday, I had the privilege of sharing with this special team of people about suffering. I have a lot of experience in that area – we all do. As I spent time with this team of brothers and sisters in Christ I saw their excitement; an excitement that I once knew so well.
Romans 12:15 tells us to "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." I've found that it's easier to weep with those who weep than it is to rejoice with those who rejoice - especially if they are rejoicing about something I would love to do but physically can't. This is such a negative attitude. Friends, don't go there! Don't hold back your rejoicing from a friend who needs you to be happy with them.
On Sunday, I was finding it difficult to rejoice with my friends. It was difficult to be happy with them. Thankfully, I recognized that Satan was trying to get to me. He does that, you know. He takes the things that cause us pain, the weaknesses in our lives, and he exploits them. He tries to blow them out of proportion. He twists and stretches the truth so that it is no longer truth. I was so close to embracing the lies of the evil one. However, with the help of Christ and the spiritual armor and weapons He has given me, I stood firm.
Galatians 6:9-10 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Friends, we need to rejoice with those who rejoice. We need to do good for others, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can use our experiences, even the difficult ones, to encourage others. We can learn from each other. We can love each other.
I am thrilled with the season God has me in right now. He is giving me the opportunity to connect with each of you, to encourage you, and challenge you. Good things can come out of challenging seasons, so don’t give up! Remember how quickly the seasons change? Soon it will be our turn. In due season we will reap the fruit of lives lived for the glory of God. This week, no matter how you are feeling, rejoice with a friend who is rejoicing. Do good to others in your life. Don’t quit. Don't hold back. Let the love and the joy flow from your heart and soul!
“We may think God wants actions of a certain kind, but God wants people of a certain kind.” – C.S. Lewis
© October 22, 2013