Saturday, September 1, 2012


It’s prob’ly early for most of you to think about this, but as our leaves begin to turn, my mind turns with them toward thoughts of cooler weather…autumn camping…sitting ‘round a campfire under the stars…and that special new star, announcing the birth of Christ. 

The Feast of Booths/Tabernacles/Tents begins in one month, October 1st.  Lord, I will be ready!!!
The hot weather this year has oppressed us.  It feels like God’s big thumb pressing down on us, tethering us to a place we do not want to be.  Temps in the nineties are nauseating, triple digits paralyzing.  Bear Bait comes home every night and thanks God for the A/C, then begs for rain.  The kids go outside 2-3 times/day, but only to go to the lake. During the hottest days in July, I happened to read The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.  Calpurnia begins:
“In 1899, we had learned to tame the darkness but not the Texas heat.”
Her story made me incredibly thankful to be living in 2012! 
Yet as the changing season woos me now into a state of reflection, I perceive that the heat and oppression have not been in vain, nor was God’s intent to leave us feeling impotent.  Rather, His purpose has been to:  s-l-o-w   u-s   d-o-w-n…  Which has been scary…  Twenty-first century 40-somethings do not find slowing down to be terribly comfortable!  We're talkin' Midlife Crisis here!
Eventually our discomfort has turned us toward God…for where else do we have to go? 
At one point in the 7th Year study, I was directed to evaluate my “self-talk,” to see if what I tell myself matches what God says about me.  For two weeks I sincerely tried to evaluate, but discovered nothing profound until one night my son asked me what I was doing in the morning, and I responded: “I’m going for a run.”  Suddenly it dawned on me that my self-talk usually doesn’t capture the truth that God is always with me.  It was not I who was going out for a run…it was we.  And so we went running the next morning…  And guess what!  It changed our lives!  Thinking “in the we” has been a whole new exciting adventure since then!
So we have slowed, and then we have turned (which, if you’re going to turn, it is often best to slow down first), and from this grueling rough patch we’ve gained skill in acknowledging God’s presence. Then a few weeks ago the other shoe dropped when we attended a funeral and learned that to comfort actually means “to go forth bravely together.”  God’s Spirit is our Comforter.  This reminds us it’s not His will for us to resolve our challenges alone using just the brains He gave us.  Rather, He wants to go through the journey WITH us…together.  Yoked.  Immanuel.
Like a breath of crisp autumn air, these truths bring us an exhilarating sense of freedom!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”    —Proverbs 3:5-6
God meets us where we are.  However and whenever you celebrate the coming of the Light of the World, we hope you feel blessed by the treasures He’s given you this year!

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