A cool breeze blew in this weekend. A refreshing taste of fall – at least fall as we experience it here in SW Florida.
We sat outside on 5th Ave South (my favorite area of town) and enjoyed the early evening at the coffee shop where we hold our Sunday evening Bible Study. My wife and I talked with friends for a while after our study was over, then went to a restaurant where we could eat al fresco. We simply couldn’t get enough of the refreshing evening air.
It reminded me of why people want to live here in Florida.
The past summer months were especially oppressive – calling it the “rainy season” was the understatement of a lifetime. For months, we avoided the outdoors except for the few fleeting hours of sunshine we were afforded each week. Even old timers complained to me that it was the worst summer in years.
But what a sudden change in the air! How different everything seems, just over the course of one weekend.
Your life can change that quickly as well…
Nearby, three teenage young men passed away suddenly in a car accident, coming back from a Halloween party. Lives so full of promise, ended so soon. The story is one we hear all too often. We look at the TV screen and shake our heads. But that is how life really is: quick, uncertain, random, ephemeral. It is only our illusions of security that keep us from seeing this as our own reality.
Winds of change are the stuff of which our lives are made. Seasons come and go, though people may move to our area in hopes of avoiding them. Yet life moves along, as one season of life gives way to another.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1
We go through periods of trial, we beg God for help. We endure, we grow, and then comes sweet release as the trial finally gives way. We rest now, thankful that we are free.
Free for the moment, that is, until the next trial comes.
Age and the endurance of trials should bring maturity. But as we’ve witnessed from a few of our seasonal visitors who have blown in on the recent winds, wisdom does not necessarily accompany age. Just go play “bumper carts” with folks at Cosco on a Saturday in season – you will believe in a literal hell. People come here expecting the trial-free joys of endless summer, only to become grumpy when they realize their trials have followed them south.
As the wise man said, “The only problem with trying to run from your problems is, wherever you go, there you are”.
So my friend…
If you’re in the midst of a trial right now, take heart in the fact that just like that sudden change of seasons, your trial will soon suddenly be over. You probably won’t see the denouement coming – the plot twists rarely give themselves away so obviously as on a neat and tidy one-hour TV drama.
Our greatest trial is life itself, which ends for most of us in years of diminished productivity and health. Take heart that this trial too will soon end, giving way to a new and glorious day.
Yes, I really believe that. God telegraphed the final plot twist all through the story He’s written – darkness gives way to the dawn, dead of winter to the new life of spring, seeds decaying in the ground springing forth into even greater life forms.
Your cool breeze is coming. Suddenly and unexpectedly. So wait with courage in your heart. And by all means, be sure you’re ready for the day when this world gives way to the next…