A blue sky and the chatter of yellow finches clinging to the tube feeder beneath my Oak tree beckons me. Come out and play.
However, blue skies can be deceiving in the winter. I open the front door and poke my head outside to test the temperature. The weatherman’s forecast was right. It’s unseasonably warm. I roll up my long sleeves. Grab a rake. But first, I stand still like the Tin Man from Oz and soak up the sunshine as though it were oil lubricating my stiff joints.
Then I rake the blanket of dry, brown pine needles off my Vinca plants. As sunlight touches the Vinca’s trailing stems, they seem to yawn and stretch skyward. Their miniature buds ready to burst into purple flowers.
Can this really be January?
Some folks may be envious especially if they’re shoveling snow. But as much as I love the sunshine, I’m praying for rain. Plants droop, waiting for a heavenly drink. Without rain, or snow in the mountains, the cost won’t be worth this week’s winter warmth.
I rake sharp needles into piles and look for a God lesson even in this glorious Spring-like day. And He shows me how often I pray for perfect days.
No problems to solve, nothing to fix. Health, wealth, and happiness. Isn’t that what people long for? Heaven on earth?
But I’m no different than trees and grass. I need grey, wet days to grow and thrive. Left to my own self-protection, and idea of perfection, my character stagnates. As a believer, how can I grow more into the likeness of Christ if I cling to the sunshine and avoid the storms?
“Rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance develops maturity of character.” (Romans 5:3, 4)
A pastor said, “When I pray for a good day, am I asking for a day that’s problem-free so I don’t need to rely on the Lord?”
I don’t have to be a weatherman to forecast my actions. I know I don’t pray as fervently when I’m on a vacation from my problems. I’m content to sail my own ship. Be captain of my soul.
Do I want to grow in Christ, and have my character be more like Him? Then I must stop being a fair-weather friend.
And rejoice even in the rain.