My First Winter in Misery, I Mean Missouri
Before our move to our new hometown, I had several people warn me, "Just remember, it gets a little bit colder here in Missouri than it does in Texas." Man, oh man, they weren't kidding! The past few weeks have been a bit of an adjustment for my family considering we've always lived in a place where anytime it dipped below fifty degrees it was treated as "heavy coat weather." But don't get worried - the Robinson family will survive the frigid temps and snowy days as we continue to settle in and enjoy life here in Farmington.
I've also had said to me on multiple occasions, "If you don't like the weather here in Missouri, just wait a few hours - it'll change." While that idiom is also proving true, (By the way, we had that same saying back in Texas.) it reminds me of an even greater truth - one constant in this life is that things never stay the same. You can count on the fact you will encounter changes in this life, and not all of them will be pleasant or easy. Scarier yet is that some of those changes you'll never see coming.
Whenever I think of how to handle change, my mind turns to the great Biblical example of the life of Job. Talk about someone who endured more unexpected changes than anyone would ever hope to see!! In the blink of an eye, he lost everything except for his life. While the Bible records the most drastic and painful changes of Job's life, it goes with saying that he endured many more changes during his days, some good and some bad, than we'll ever know. However, in the midst of the worst changes of his life, Scripture records Job's words of trust and praise.
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21, ESV)
I'm sure that Job would have preferred never to live through that day in which he spoke these famous words. However, he did face that day. He didn't see it coming, and he couldn't have controlled it even if had known what would happen. Job's only choice on that terrible day was his response. He chose praise.
As I look back over the past six months of my life, I can see many changes. Thankfully, almost all of those changes, with the exception of the weather, have been good changes. For me, it has been easy to say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord," for I have been enjoying all that God has been giving me. However, what will my attitude be on the day when I experience God's "taking away?” Will I still be able to praise God with the same words during tough and unexpected changes as I do during the pleasant and welcomed ones?
My point is this: today, praise God no matter the circumstances you are encountering or the changes you are facing. Praise Him if things are going great, but also praise Him if you're struggling through life's unexpected twists and turns. When we refuse to lose a heart of praise, we will never find ourselves very miserable. Instead, we will rejoice as experience the peace of God's majesty.