Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reasons for Joy

Yea! It's official! It's the first day of summer! Like I need an "official" day to start the summer season. As soon as the temp goes above 60 degrees (oh, to be warm again)!, I am on fast forward to all things summer. Ahhh, the memories...spending Fourth of July at the "Seaside Inn" in Rockport, TX is one of my happiest from childhood, and Sprite floats filled to the rim with rainbow sherbet (food always sneaks in there somewhere), the beach has got to be a piece of heaven on earth, and as a child NO SCHOOL was synonymous with FREEDOM! Flip flops, sundresses, the smell of coconut sunscreen and fun in the sun...oh, yeah!

As wonderful as summer is though, it seems that God chose each season for just the right length of time here in Texas. To me, there is so much to look forward to for each one, but close to the end of it, I'm ready for the next! In Fall, one of the best things about it is the weather turning cooler. Huh? Didn't I just rave about summer and how nice it is to feel WARM again? I start out that way, but by the end of August, all I can think about is if I have enough socks (my feet don't see the light of day for months come fall), or which 'lil jacket I might wear with what when it finally gets cooler! Not to mention the shoes...oh, my do you really want me to go there?! BOOTS...that's all I'll say about that!

Next comes the Thanksgiving holiday! Giving thanks to God for all that He has given us and feasting with family and friends (food again)! Then, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, everything becomes a blur because the end of fall and the beginning of winter means Christmas is on the way, and we get to celebrate the birth of our feast with family and friends, AGAIN! Then comes the colder weather and the longing for our "normal" schedule that went out the window during the holidays (and maybe focus on losing a few of the pounds we may have acquired while feasting). That's when the fall and winter seasons seem to wane for me.

The end of winter in Texas is when we get our coldest weather...usually. Our weather here can be unpredictable at times, and no one weather pattern seems to stay put for very long (except maybe HOT in the Summertime). That used to bother me more...until we visited Poland in December of 2008. Their cold stays cold for days on end, without much variation in temperature until spring...which comes later than our spring. Since we returned home in January of 2008 I have not complained as much about our cold weather, all I have to do is think of Krakow in winter and in comparison it doesn't seem so bad. Like they say, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes (and it will change)."  True dat, here in Texas!

Then comes spring as a metaphor for the resurrection of our Lord as we witness all of creation coming back to life. "Spring showers bring May flowers" as they say, because water brings forth life. John 4:1-42  is the story of the Samaritan woman's encounter with Jesus at Jacob's well. In verses 7-10, God's Word says this;  A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink." For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift from God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."  John 4:7-10 NKJ 

Jesus goes on to describe Himself in this way to her;  Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."  John 4:13 NKJ  He still offers living water and everlasting life to those who are willing to accept that gift. It's not too late.

If you read the whole encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4:1-42, you will find that she might seem an unlikely prospect for a holy God. Gives me hope! Maybe I'm not so bad after all. Maybe He can take somebody who has turned their back on Him time and time again and gone their own way and actually make them whole in Him. We are all just one choice away from never thirsting again and spending eternity with the One who made it possible. He makes it possible for all of us through His living water to become in Him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. Now that is something to "sing" about!

Summer warmth, fall festivities, winter celebrations and new life in springtime brought forth by a living, loving God. Each season gives us reasons to rejoice. No matter our circumstance, if we look to creation and more importantly to our Creator, we will be able to glorify Him through it all. We can choose to return to the source of our joy and that is my prayer and my "song" for us all!


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