Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wintry Days both inside and outside

     Many overseas folk only think of Australia as the "hot, brown land". And yes, large parts are just that but many folk overseas do not know we also have snow fields and plenty of snow in some parts, including here in the island state of Tasmania.
     While my friends in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing the dreadful tornados, floods and fires of summer it is winter here in Australia. Okay, so I've shared with you that summer tree, that autumn tree, but now its bare branches just look too sad. Instead, here is part of our own front yard and part of my poor flower garden. No, we don't get snow here where we live in northern Tasmania - for which I personally am very thankful because I am not at all fond of cold days. A few days ago we had our first heavy frosts here and naturally Mary moaned.
     As fast as I could before they froze, I poked my nose and fingers outside to take this photo. If I had thought fast enough - and got out of my warm bed sooner! - I'd have stayed in bed longer and asked my husband before he drove off to take this photo and also one of the thick ice on our car that was left out overnight. The house wasn't as warm as later in the morning but I was still so glad we have heating inside no matter how freezing it is outside.
     Made me think about those inner parts of my body and spirit when the cold winters of life try to cool my fire and faith in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
     Sure, I felt the effects of that icy air when I stepped outside right into it but once back inside with the warmth I did soon recover. How quickly do I recover inwardly when lashed by those storms of life which bring cold, cold blasts that would seek to harm, even destroy my faith in the Lord I handed control of my life to so many years ago? Where do I find the constant heating that warms and protects my faith during those "dark nights of the soul"?
     If we had decided to wait and purchase heating appliances only after freezing times arrived, how much longer I would have suffered from the cold. I know only too well that it is far wiser during the calm and pleasant days to make sure to nurture my faith. Sure, it may be through those very dark days when all we can do is cling to Christ that faith is proven to be true. Then that faith grow more and more as He gives comfort, strength for the days. But for that to happen, faith certainly needs to have a level of maturity to start with, a certainty that He is there, in control.

     How do we start with that kind of faith? The Bible is our guide, our recipe for life. It tells us "...how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?... (Romans 10:14) and "...faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)." I must read, hear, know what God says as recorded in the Bible about Himself and how HE wants me to live. The "hearing" can only come as I make myself available to Him. I must never to neglect my own private times of reading, study of and meditating on the scriptures. It’s also no good “hearing” if not obeying.
     It is also foolish to neglect sharing that “hearing” with other believers whenever and wherever possible. Together we grow stronger in faith as we share and prove God's word is true and real. Then will we be ready for those faith-testing days that would try to keep our inward being cold, even frozen. If we neglect getting to know our God and HIS ways as revealed in His Word, we make it harder for God to give the warmth of His love, strength and comfort.

     Over the years I have proved His faithfulness in the cold of winter and also the trials of summer. I hope you have and will continue to do so too..

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