Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Springtime Heatwave in the Mid-Atlantic

Oh, wow!

It feels like summer. I might be picky about the weather. My default temperature, which is good for all weather (rain or sunshine), all clothes (long pants, sweaters, or shorts and tshirts), all activities (standing still, walking, and running) and being in or outdoors (because the heating/AC isn't too drastic of a change) is 76 degrees. At that temperature, you can be comfortable in all of the situations described in the parentheses. However, with the temperature in the mid-to-upper 80s, moving around gets uncomfortable. I start to sweat just by virtue of walking under the sun, and this irritates me. So it's rather ironic that at approximately 70 degrees, there exists a mirror plane, and when the temperature is below, rain and wind is something I avoid, and sunshine something I bask in, but when it is above, I flee from the sun, and relish wind and rain for its refreshing qualities. 

It just goes to show you, things which can be seen as good in one context can be seen as bad in another -- or shall I say, that which gives life has the capacity to bring death? Rain is good for crops, but too much causes flooding. A balmy breeze is cooling, but a tornado is a force of destruction. Sun keeps you from freezing, but too much can burn you. I think there's a comparison to be made with theology, here. Not that too much of God can be bad for you. But that if you are not prepared to encounter Him in all His glory, rather than being refreshed, you may be destroyed.

Look at the sun -- it is a source of light, but it is also a fire, and fire can burn and destroy. I think it's intriguing that God refers to Himself in both ways in Scripture:
Deuteronomy 4:24 says "the Lord is a consuming fire," with specific reference to His jealousy for us, and anger over idols. 

In John 8:12, Jesus says "I am the light of the world." So by Him we can see and not be in darkness.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says this, in reference to obedient and disobedient believers:

"11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." 

So you see, if you've paid attention to the weather forecast, you won't be taken by surprise by extremes of weather. Similarly, if you've used your time on earth wisely to read the Bible and get reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, you need not fear the fire. You will only experience His light. But the Corinthians passage makes a further point -- if we only hear the forecast and do nothing to prepare, we will make it through, but "only as through fire." Let us be doers of the Word, and not hearers only (James 1:22).

When I notice the changing seasons, this verse comes to mind:
Genesis 8:22 -- While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
And I praise the Lord that that is true.

~ Rak Chazak

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