I remember the first summer we moved back to Arkansas. It was 1970 and I had just completed the 8th grade in Tyler Texas. The move to a small town called Blevins was both sorrowful and exhilarating. I left behind good friends, but I was going to renew friendships with others and make new friends that I still cherish to this day.
Although it was June, that summer started out quite chilly. We had to use blankets at night! On June 3rd of that year it dipped into the low 50’s in many parts of Arkansas. By July, it was back to record heat at 104 degrees! To say that Arkansas weather pattern is full of extremes is to put it mildly.
Again we see that crazy Arkansas weather working here. Tuesday night we had to turn on the a/c because it was plain hot and very humid (another Arkansas delight). But last night we were scurrying for heavy blankets as it was in the low 40’s. Tonight’s call is for 30’s! Storms and rain abound as well.
You may have discovered that life is full of extremes as well. One moment it’s perfect weather and all is well. Not a problem in sight. No dark clouds of sorrow, no suppressing heat of trials, no chill of melancholy. You go to sleep comfortable and rested. But by morning all may change. The phone call, the news program, the envelope in the mailbox carrying news you never wanted to hear. The ups and downs in life can take their toll on the spirit and the body. If we’re not careful, the oppression will give way to depression and we’ll be unable to rest, no matter what.
Are you sweltering in the heat of hardships? Do you find no place to rest your weary heart? Are you thinking if only things would cool down you could relax? Maybe it’s chilly because you’ve been left to go it alone. The one who was with you has departed and you have no one to lean on. It’s hard to gather warmth when you’re alone.
Oh beloved, it’s time to settle in with the Lord - the One Who made heaven and earth, the seasons and the changes. For He is your light in the night, your refreshing in the heat and your warmth in the chill. Life is hard and He knows that at times you have been to the point of despair, but He says to you again and again, “Never will I leave you or forsake you.” And again He says, “I am your refuge and your fortress, your God in whom you can always trust”. If you listen quietly you will hear His voice speaking sweet love words to you. All of His promises are yours, all of His qualities are for your very existence, all His Truth is your bastion of hope, your citadel of protection, your comforter in days that nothing else will do. Let Him hold you in His loving arms as He places His banner over your life. He knows, beloved, that it is hard, but He has promised that a new day will dawn and a better way will come. And, one day, He will come to get you and you will be hid in the depths of His love and His delight forever!
Isaiah 63:1 A psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; I earnestly search for You. My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 31:7-8 I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place.
Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Psalm 107:43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.
Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.