waiting for spring

Last weekend was beautiful. We spent most of the day on Saturday visiting garage sales and planting our vegetable garden...iceinapril

And then I woke up on Wednesday and I wasn't in Kansas anymore. I must have sleep-walked through the wardrobe because I found myself in Narnia. Everything was covered in ice. Every blade of grass, every leaf, every poor freezing daffodil. The trees made an eerie cracking sound ever time the wind blew. And it was still sleeting a little bit. I couldn't even bare to check on my baby vegetable plants.

This winter wonderland - in April - was not met with cries of joy from me or presumably anyone in our area. We are all ready for the sure and lasting signs of spring. But then I got to thinking about last summer. How hot it was. Unbearably hot. It seemed at the time as if we would never see cold again, and almost everyone I knew was looking forward to fall and winter.

What is it with us? Always looking to the next thing, rarely seeing the good in what is placed in front of us for the day, even if it is ice in April. Our discontent and grumbling reminds me of a group of people who found themselves in a desert with nothing to eat but manna. They could not make themselves remember the oppression they had been delivered from, except to beg to go back. They found their current situation so wretched that they would prefer to be slaves oppressed and beaten daily. You don't have to read very far in Exodus and Leviticus to start wondering what was wrong with these people. They had the very presence of God  dwelling among them, yet they could not stop complaining. It is an exhausting and frustrating read.

But reading that reminds me of people who complain about everything. How hot it is, how cold it is, where we live, what we where, what we eat. Longing for last summer to have relief from the cold, but forgetting how hot it was and how everything was dying. We are no different. Being one of those people myself, I am exhausted by my ability to ignore the blessings of the exact place I am in today, freezing or sweltering, and wish for something else. I was reminded again this week of the ultimate supremacy and sovereignty of God. Job chapter 38 is an excellent chapter to put my complaining heart back into place. It is a worthy read and you can do so here. Here is a preview.

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,

or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,....

From whose womb did the ice come forth,

and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?

The waters become hard like stone,

and the face of the deep is frozen...."

Once we are fully convinced that we have no place to question God as to why there is ice covering our neighborhood on an April morning we can move on to addressing the real problem, our hearts. Here are some verses that help me do battle against discontent.

Psalm 138:24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Philippians 4:11-12

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

1 Timothy 6:6-7

But godliness with contentment is great gain,  for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

Now I am not saying that we can never hope to be out of a certain difficult or uncomfortable situation. I am just saying to acknowledge the fact that {if you belong to God in Christ Jesus} God placed you in that situation for a sanctifying and God glorifying purpose. You may never know the reason for your particular ice in April, but you can rest assured that it is being used for your good if you "love God and are called according to his purposes." {Romans 8:28} Furthermore, there is something to be said for just enduring and pressing on:

Romans 5:3-5

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

So wherever you find yourself today, in cold or heat, in pain or comfort, as believers there is reason to rejoice if you find yourself uncomfortable.

Now I'm going to go put some warm socks on and stop complaining :)

{The picture I took hardly does the ice justice. It was amazing. If you would like to see some really cool shots of it, visit my photographer bloggy friends from my area. Tonya and Meg }