It looks like we are in for a wild ride over the next few weeks here in North Carolina… weather wise that is! I am coming to learn that the area in which we live is situated in a somewhat of a unique position among the eastern states here in the USA. At least it seems that way to me. From what we have experienced so far in the nine months that we have been here, most of the major weather fronts have bypassed us during the summer, fall and winter months.
For the next few weeks though, it finally looks like some of that weather is about to catch up with us! There is a forecast of snow for this afternoon and evening with the temperatures falling after that. By Thursday we are supposed to have clear skies but temperatures ranging from a high of 19 degrees to a low of 1 degree! The following week looks to be a period of what is commonly called a “winter mix” of rain, snow and ice.
I think it will actually be a little exciting! The weather out here has been nothing as extreme as we faced in Oklahoma, so I think we are mentally and physically prepared! The cars are gassed up, the refrigerator is full and our heavy clothing has been moved out to the front of the closet!
I think how one weathers the upcoming storm as well as any storm in life has a lot to do with their attitude and confession! When we moved to Oklahoma I was well aware of people’s comments concerning the “wind in the winter that seems to blow right through you” and the “miserable heat and humidity of the summer.” But you know what? I decided well before we ever hopped in the Suburban and headed east, that I was never going to complain about the weather… in fact, months before we left, I began to confess that I was going to enjoy it… and for the most part I did!
When I began my new job at the South Tulsa Home Depot, I even opted to work the outside Garden Department as much as I could. Sure it was hot and sweaty and I would come home soaked down to my underwear, but I enjoyed it! It was a little harder working outside in the twelve degree snowy and icy weather as we prepared the outside Garden area for the arrival of the Christmas trees and following that for the spring plants, but a long time ago I came to understand the power of a smile and a cheery disposition!
I’m sure I told you of the one truck of Christmas trees that arrived in the snow from its origins in Washington state. None of the younger kids in the store wanted to go out into the cold, so I and the other fifty-some-year-old team member within the Garden Department volunteered for the job! I don’t know how many hours we spent in the back of that cold truck with the trees frozen to the bed of the trailer, but we had a blast and when I got home I laughed even harder at the look on my wife’s face as she stood speechless at the sight of me and my once brown Dockers that were covered in mud and all kinds of other green and sappy yuck!
In the book of Nehemiah the Levites entreated the people to stop crying over the destruction of Jerusalem (whose walls they were attempting to rebuild) and encouraged them to not be full of complaining and sorrow for “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV) I believe that this is also the best advice for us to follow any time any storm in life comes upon us. That response of joy means that you are trusting in the Lord. Pastor James also taught his congregation this same lesson at the beginning of the book of James.
I realize that this may not always be easy to do, especially when every nerve in your body is screaming something else! But with practice it gets easier each time! And after a while it becomes a little funny to see the look on other people’s faces when they see you responding to tough situations with joy instead of anxiety or anger! I have also found out that I think clearer when I am joyful than when I am full of worry.
So whatever the weather of your life is today, I would strongly encourage you to rejoice and be glad! Don’t complain, but put your trust into the Lord’s abilities and before you know it, you’ll be steadfastly enduring and just maybe enjoying the “winter mix!” Have a great day. Stay in tune to God’s Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s REPORT am I expecting to REJOICE over today?”