I checked the weather today. You know what I found? Excessive heat warnings. Extreme weather alerts. Stupid hot temperatures. Do you know why I checked the weather? Because I also realized 4 months from today we will all be getting ready for Christmas. And guess what … it won’t be hot then. In fact, we’ll probably be complaining about how cold it was when we were shopping. We will probably be yelling, “shut the door, you’re letting the heat out!”
But today … no, today we’re not saying that, are we? Today, we’re complaining about totally different circumstances. Shut the door, you’re letting the cold air out. I can’t stop sweating. I’m melting out here. It’s miserable.
Dang, are we just going to complain our way through life? It’s always too hot or too cold. We continually want what we don’t have and completely miss what we do have. Here we are waking up to a million things that are miraculously so right, and yet we want to focus on the fact that it’s too hot? Pretty soon we’ll wake up to another million things that are miraculously so right, yet we will focus on the fact that it’s too cold.
Honey, seasons will be what seasons will be. You don’t get to control that. Weather changes just like life changes. If circumstances determine your happiness, you’re going to be motion sick with the ups and downs and miss that you’re on a beautiful ride.
Many years ago my mentor instructed me to listen to one of the original motivational speakers, Jim Rohn. Jim had a 6 CD set called “The Art of Exceptional Living”. Daily, I listened to these same 6 CDs on repeat until I nearly knew them by memory. One quote I memorized was, “Life is like the changing seasons. You cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself. Therein lies the opportunity to live an extraordinary life, the opportunity to change yourself.”
Learning this, I began seeing the changing seasons differently. I began accepting change for what it was. The weather changed, life changed. The seasons came and went, our kids came and went. I couldn’t stop it, but I could lean into it. I couldn’t change it, but I could change how I received it.
Changing how I received the changes of life changed me. It took away my tendency to complain about circumstances. It eliminated my useless worry. It lightened my load and eased my burden. It freed me to find unspeakable joy even in the harsh winters of life where nothing was growing. It showed me the beauty in the days where the heat made it too hard to do anything, but happiness was still available.
And eventually, I stopped dreading the changes and hating the seasons. I can’t change it, but I can change. I can change how I look at it. I can change how I talk about it. I can change how I wake up to it. And when I change, everything changes.
We weren’t created to just endure life, we were created to enjoy this life! Are you? Are you enjoying life here and now, or are you just enduring another season you didn’t wish for and are waiting for the next?
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8:
“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.”
After all of this, we read verses 11 & 12, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.”
God has made everything beautiful for its own time and we simply don’t see the fullness of God’s big work. We don’t see how all these pieces fit together to make something beautiful. We don’t see how this season is an integral part of the next season. You don’t see the eternal work in the here and now, but it’s happening. And because we don’t see it, we tend to be massive brats about it in the process.
This thing you’re dealing with right now, this thing you didn’t ask for and don’t want … God is making it beautiful in its own time. Do you want to partner with God in making it beautiful? Okay, stop complaining about it. Stop hating it. Stop putting your life on hold until it changes. No honey, you change here. You grow here. You learn to dance in the rain. You learn to walk on the water. You learn to march your circles. You learn to hold up your arms. You learn to keep building. The time will come when you understand why, but that time is not now.
God’s word says there’s a time to grieve and a time to dance. Notice how dancing comes after grieving. That means after your time of grief, your dancing will return. You can’t pitch a tent and decide you’re going to settle in your grief. No, God has plans that reach beyond this. He’s making even your grief into something beautiful in its time, and it will bring you to dancing again.
I have a close circle of friends and we walk through life together. We’ve walked through the loss of one of our own, plus 3 fathers, 1 mother, and 2 husbands in the past 5 years. There are only 7 of us. That’s a whole lot of grief for such a small circle. That’s a lot of funerals. A lot of crisis phone calls. A lot of prayers. Just last weekend I was in Texas for one of those funerals. We gathered once again around one of our sisters who had lost her young husband, and we grieved with her. But in our small circle also stood one who had experienced this same loss. One who felt life just couldn’t go on after losing her husband. Things would never be okay again. BUT GOD! But God has faithfully brought her through her time of grieving and he has brought her to a time of dancing again. And we see how God is truly making everything beautiful for it’s own time. We see his work that reaches from the beginning to the end that we simply couldn’t see all at once.
Are we allowed to be happy again? Are we allowed to find peace when there is also war? Are we allowed to build some things while other things are being torn down? YES. This is the ultimate trust in our God who is working from beginning to end. This is us in changing seasons we cannot control, deciding there’s nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
Eternity is planted within our hearts. There’s a deep knowing that somehow there’s so much more beyond this. An unspeakable understanding that loss isn’t forever, grief will be replaced with dancing, peace will return, we will laugh and we will heal. God put that within each of us. Dig deep for that today.
So, yes, we will refuse the invitation to complain about the circumstances of today. Circumstances will be what circumstances will be. It’s freaking hot … got it. Guess what … in 4 months it will be freaking cold. Let’s decide we won’t waste a day of it complaining about it. We can’t change it, but we can change. We’re here, we’re alive, and we’re going to make the most of this! Why? Because everything is in the process of change.
The season of weather and our season of life … it all changes. We will live today!