Another day dawns in the southern hemisphere and the winds are barrelling up the South Island straight from the Antarctic. The forecast is for snow covering most, if not all of the South Island and some in the North Island. Living in the ‘winterless North’, Irish and I a somewhat detached from the extremes of weather that Mother Nature throws around from time to time. I realise that there are those among my friends at ChristianBlog who are convinced that I don’t experience ‘weather’ but as I sit here, I am reminded that ‘weather’ is not all about climatic conditions. As we go through life there are the storms we face physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are the dry, arid desert-like experiences where it seems that the sand is the only thing that gets through our brain and into our eyes, the resulting irritation causing even more discomfort and pain. There is the mind numbing cold that creeps in through every crack and crevice, bringing us to the point of powerlessness. Then, there are the storms that pick us up as though we are weightless, and toss us about in waves of fear and rage. I am reminded that God has given us the right to choose how we respond to the surroundings in which we find ourselves. We can close our eyes and pretend that our circumstances do not need dealing with or we can look into the eye of the storm and find the hand of God outstretched and waiting to grasp the tiny seed of faith we have left. A thought has just this moment come to mind, a question that God asked me many years ago and I would like to ask it here. Are your circumstances your prison or your prayer closet?
Great question. My circumstances are my prayer closet. From my very early days I believed (and stilll do) that God will give wisdom and direction if we ask. I learned most everything I know of Him, the spiritual realm, and the enemy's tactics, over a kitchen table with a friend saying...[i]let's pray![/i] It became a running joke that that was what they were going to put on my tombstone!
God will turn our adversity to wealth, if we walk through it with Him. What an incredible blessing it is to be able to access the God of the universe for directions through the challenges of life. We just need to ask, seek, knock, and be patient as He waits [i]for us [/i] to be in position to hear.
[quote]We can close our eyes and pretend that our circumstances do not need dealing with[/quote] See, this is what I do terribly well.
Truthfully, my circumstances are usually my prison if I am totally honest. So I suppose as freddy Mercury once sang.. "I want to break free!"
Over the years, I have been asked by those in warmer climates how I endure the brutal Minnesota winters. I usually smile and say that as a native Minnesotan, I am used to it but that is only partially true.
I certainly am used to it as other than when I was in college down south, I have spent every winter of my life in Minnesota. I was even born on a cold, snowy late November day!
Being used to it though is not enough if you are not properly equipped to deal with it. You need to dress appropriately and take precautions or you could end up with frost-bite or even dead!
However, that is not enough to get through the long, cold and snowy winter filled with screaming Alberta Clippers which can cause the actual air temperature to plunge to -20 plus Fahrenheit/-29 plus Celsius.
You must learn to embrace winter. You must learn to find the beauty in winter. Minnesotans not only endure winter, they learn to look for the beauty of winter. When I was growing up in Minneapolis, the parks were dotted with outdoor ice skating rinks and park houses were converted into warming rooms. Hardly a day went by when we were not dragging a sled somewhere and skiing is very popular here as well though we have no mountains but only hills. Snowmobiling, ice fishing and snowshoeing are popular as well.
As a child I would build snowmen, make snow sculptures, build snow forts and make snow angels. I learned that there is something wonderful about coming in wet with frosted white hair, red cheeks and a tingling nose and sitting down to a steaming hot cup of cocoa (with marshmallows) and some freshly baked cookies. It is even better if you have them in front of the fire. Winter causes you to appreciate the little things more, I think.
Prison or Prayer closet -been through both prefer the Prayer closet.
We truly can make ourselves prisoners of our circumstances if we don't understand God has it all under control.
Loved this blog Kbird
I humbly pray that my circumstances are my prayer closet.
My Lord comforts and blesses me all through the night - and wakes me in the morning.
I could be a real dead head.
But normally he can get through my thick skull.
Strangely, I get revelation when I'm relaxed - taking a shower and not trying to think.
God seems to wait for me to drop my "thinking" wall. Then he can slip in and get a word in edgewise!
[quote]Strangely, I get revelation when I'm relaxed - taking a shower and not trying to think.
God seems to wait for me to drop my "thinking" wall. Then he can slip in and get a word in edgewise![/quote]
Love this! Err I have a few of those teeshirts in my wardrobe!
Yes, it's true that we so often bow to circumstances and the climate of the day. Let us be above them, not below.
Indeed prayer and more prayer can lighten the walk and also change the circumstances to our favour. I have seen and experienced it for so many times. So we must not relax because of past victories but stay prayerful and watchful.
Thanks for sharing, Sister Kiwibird
From Hwa Silverpen
I am no expert on the weather, as in temperatures:).
I do know about the spiritual kind though. Many storms. God can calm both kinds, if He wills. He is just as Holy, Righteous, Just, either way.
Thanks for blogging. God Bless you. billy
Great and simple truths as usual presented by our resident weather woman down under. We must never compare circumstances to ourselves or we will inevitably fall and cower in the corner in fear and trembling. But, if we compare circumstances to God, there is great peace for God is greater than any storm and is always able to give us what we need to weather that storm.
Thanks for such a simple yet profound blog.
Blessings 2 You!
I have to be honest with you here, B2Y. I am a bit of a weather rock person. You know, if the rock is dry it's fine, if it is wet, it's raining, if it is white, it's snowing and if I can't see it, it's foggy or someone has stolen it! I bow to your far superior knowledge of such things. I thank God that my spiritual condition isn't limited by my knowledge of climatic conditions!
[quote]But, if we compare circumstances to God, there is great peace for God is greater than any storm and is always able to give us what we need to weather that storm.[/quote]
[quote]As we go through life there are the storms we face physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are the dry, arid desert-like experiences where it seems that the sand is the only thing that gets through our brain and into our eyes, the resulting irritation causing even more discomfort and pain. There is the mind numbing cold that creeps in through every crack and crevice, bringing us to the point of powerlessness. Then, there are the storms that pick us up as though we are weightless, and toss us about in waves of fear and rage.
Are your circumstances your prison or your prayer closet?
I like how you've analogized the inner weather within us to the outer weather outside of us... and you've written it with such thought-provoking phraseology.
*And... what a needful question to ponder!
I wanted to share a poem with you that came to mind as I read your content. It's entitled [b]Tree At My Window[/b] by Robert Frost.
[quote][b]TREE AT MY WINDOW[/b]
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But, tree, I have seen you taken and tossed
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner ...weather[/quote]
[b]You[/b] write so eloquently. 'I wonder: Do you write poetry?'
I have been trying to think when I last wrote a poem, I think it may well have been when I wrote to my first son that I miscarried. Up to this point in time, the only one who knows what is written down, is God. My daughter, however, is a wordsmith although she is currently spending her time on her thesis, not on poetry!
Very nice prose, then.
It's obvious that you have the "imagination" necessary to write in ways that trigger rich thoughts.
Here's from "Charlie The Weatherman" - a song by Randy Stonehill off his "Stories" album
It was Charlie who taught me to ride on a bike
It was Charlie who taught me 'bout flyin' a kite
It was Charlie who taught me the beauty of dreams
He'd say "Life's so much more than it seems"
He looked like a scarecrow so ragged and thin
When he knocked at the farmhouse door
I could tell that my mother was nervous at first
With my father away in the war
He said he was hungry from waking so far,
But a handout never would do
"Now my name is Charlie and for something to eat
I could predict the weather for you"
He talked of the talent with which he was blessed
"It's an odd sort of gift," he explained
"But the Lord makes the weather and I just observe
And only a fool could complain"
As night time was falling we asked him to stay
And he camped by the sycamore trees
My mother asked "What will you do if it rains?"
Charlie smiled and said, "Just leave the weather to me"
In the wandering breeze I can hear again
The song that Charlie the weatherman sang
Sweet breath of God blow he clouds away
'Til I walk in the light of that endless spring day
Now Charlie stayed with us as days turned to weeks
It seemed that somehow he belonged
And I'd always tease him when he watched the sky
But his forecasts never were wrong
And Charlie would tell me a story each night
From the tattered old bible he read
[b]"Winter or summer, spring time or fall It's the weather inside us that matters" he said.[/b]
One morning at breakfast he seemed a bit sad
With a far away look in his eyes, "Storms rollin' in"
That was all he said though there wasn't a cloud in the sky
The last time I saw him he waved his old hat
As he stood at the of the hill
He left me his bible and in it he wrote
"Keep your eyes on the sky" and I always will
And it rained and rained like the tears I cried
The day that Charlie the weatherman died
And the wind has carried his heart away
Past the silver-lined clouds to that endless spring day
I think I may feature that song.
One good reason for me to do that is it would introduce readers to more of the amazing music of Randy Stonehill.
The poetry squeezes my heart until i break down in tears.
Imagine the MUSIC!
The emotion is in the audio.
Lots of "weather" stuff in that song, eh? Lots of rich analogies.
What makes it harder for us is that we've known a couple of "Charlies".
The first one I knew was actually named Charlie!
What a dear sweet old man. He had a home. He called it the "Open Door"
He could barely walk.
When I'd bring him home after a meeting with us Jesus People (he was the biggest hippie of all, with his headband) he'd say
"HOME SOUR HOME!"
"BACK TO THE OLD DUMP!"
He was hilarious.
The other was a beloved teacher and mentor - a bee keeper who spent his entire life loving and faithfully mentoring people.
He cared for me as though he were my own father.