I hear it is spring in some places...
I see TV ads, billboards and the like with springy slogans, people talking about spring cleaning, spring clothes in shop windows...spring, spring, spring- everywhere talk of the spring season. The only thing is-it sure still feels like winter (earrrrllly spring at best) here as we continue to have rain in the forecast and highs in the 40's.
I even changed out Alice's winter clothes for spring and summer last week, hoping that would somehow usher in the warm sun and blooming flowers. Ahhh, no dice.
We have lived here for 3 winters now and this is still a shock to my native Arkansan self. I'm telling you friend, this southern girl is doing some major spring yearning and trusting God to sustain me until this crazy "cloud cover" (as people not-so affectionately call it up here) clears and warmer air arrives in Northeast Ohio.
I have come to many conclusions, some wrong I'm sure, but one I think I may have right is that my Jesus uses much of the ordinary to get at my heart. I'm sure we can all at least humm along to the Byrds' hit song, Turn! Turn! Turn! that gets its roots in the book of Ecclesiastes in the bible.
Which, by the way is what I'm screaming...for the love! Turn! Turn! Turn! Green, pollinated and spring!
But all the screaming is getting no turning.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
OK so God, if I'm going to resolve to be a woman who stands on your word...ummm there is a purpose to this cloud cover? And not it's not just related to soil composition and lake effects, but could it be Your divine purpose in my heart?Can I tell you the times I have prayed that Jesus would cause me to passionately love the cloudiness? There are people who live here and tell me He has done that for them, which I KNOW is nothing short of a miracle. Can I be honest? He has chosen, in His infinite wisdom, not to do that for me...even though I have earnestly pleaded, and begged, and cried, oh and groveled...like I'm talking on the knees.
Lord! Make me crazy for clouds! Lord in the name of Jesus give me a LOVE for all things snowy and white!
Still, the moment has not come when I open my curtains in the morning, see the grey-ness outside and love the sight. And so I wait, pray and press in...
But, you know what He has caused to grow in my heart? Perseverance, trust, dependence...just to name a few things I would never take back for the sunshine in April. I have had to press into Him daily and sometimes moment by moment...
Listen to James 1:3-4, “Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
Could it be, dear friend, that the cloud cover in our lives is about God's divine purpose in our hearts? We want to break free! We want sunny days...sweepin' tha clouds away (cue Sesame Street theme song...hit it Alice)!
Sometimes God allows the clouds to linger, for a season, so that He can finish a work in us, so that we will be mature and complete...not lacking in anything. Sick or healthy, affluent or in lack...sun or Ohio cloud cover.