The Polar Vortex

National Wind Chill Map

Since I live in an area of the country where the weather can change dramatically in a matter of hours, I’m pretty used to hearing a lot of complaints about the weather. Anyone on Facebook from the Minnesota five state area will tell you that 80% {maybe more} of status updates these days are about the weather. I don’t like to complain about the weather because I know that the Lord gives each day it’s light, temperature and precipitation or lack thereof for a reason, but lately I have found myself struggling with this more and more. 
Last Friday felt like a cruel joke with temps in the mid 30s. I walked Thing 1 to her bus stop with only a puffer vest over my sweater. I seriously didn’t want to go back inside my house. The night before, I got home late from my ladies small group meeting and though the temps were rising, it was only 3°. Friday afternoon’s snow was messy and a bit deceiving since it seemed so warm, but I was still glad to drive through slippery slush to get groceries when my hands weren’t going to fall off just bringing bags to the house. And then as quick as it came, the warmth was gone again. Saturday morning the temps were in the single digits again and I felt like I wanted to cry.

I think my pride is a bit bugged as well that I don’t seem to be handling the cold like the hearty Minnesotan I want to claim to be… the one that I used to be. When did I get soft? When did I start thinking that being a snowbird, wintering in the south might not be such a bad idea? Isn’t that for the retired and the elderly? Notice those are two separate categories there.  =) I want to be content with these current weather circumstances, but does that mean I have to be happy about it too?

Snow Etched Windwo

Even the harshest climates have touches of God’s beauty in them. All creation whispers His name and reflects His own beauty.

One of my favorite devotional authors, Lydia Brownback, in her book called Contentmentsays that we often compartmentalize happiness and contentment, placing happiness of first importance and contentment as second best if and when we don’t get what we want. How true this is! So often we say, “I’m not really happy, but I’m content with things the way they are for now.” I think it begs these questions then:

What does my lack of contentment say that I believe about God? 
Do I believe that He is good and has purposed these things for my good even when it’s hard?  

It’s easy to see that God is for us when things are going our way and blessings abound. It’s easy to see that God loves us when He bestows on us the desires of our hearts. But when our desires are delayed; when our circumstances don’t change as quickly as we think they should, we can think that all of the sudden God isn’t for us; that what He accomplishes for His glory doesn’t also include our good. We forget our standing before a holy and righteous God. We forget that Jesus met our deepest felt need on the cross. It was there that He rescued us from our sin when we couldn’t yet even see that we needed rescuing. Trusting in our Heavenly Father is an exercise that is every bit as vital to our health as burning fat and toning muscle. Choosing to trust God while waiting for circumstances {or weather} to change is imperative for having joy and contentment. 

This past weekend our church had a seminar on Eschatology {the study of the end times} and I walked away reminded that all of these trials, uncomfortable circumstances, hardships, climate changes, etc, etc. are here to remind us that: 

  1. This world is under the curse of sin and is groaning under that curse. 
  2. God is using all of these things to fulfill His purposes for all eternity. 
  3. This world is not our home. No, we await a glorious Heavenly home!
  4. We can groan and be anxious because of these trials and circumstances or we can look for the Lord’s purposes in them and find comfort, joy and ultimately contentment in Him.
Are you lacking contentment and not sure how to fight for joy in your current circumstances? 
Let me encourage you to sit at your Father’s feet and confess the sin of lacking contentment; the sin of not trusting His plan. Thank Him for rescuing you from your sin and graciously giving you more than you deserve because of Jesus. Ask Him to supply the grace for today for you to find your contentment in Christ and in Him alone. Reach out and ask a friend to pray for you as you work to exercise trust and faith in your Heavenly Father. And then do it again tomorrow. We’ve heard we have to take new diets or new habits a day at a time, but we often forget that finding contentment and learning to lean on God’s grace happens the same way. One day at a time.
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PS: 

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**If you are a woman and live within driving distance of the Twin Cities, consider joining the ladies of Sovereign Grace Church, March 14-15, for a weekend retreat with Lydia Brownback. She will be speaking on the subject of fear, a topic that I believe is relevant to every woman. You can click here for information about the weekend including more info about the schedule, accommodations and more about Lydia herself.**

Happily sharing at these lovely blogs and more here…
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