Yesterday was Easter and it was sunny. I have often noticed that no matter what stage of winter/spring we are having here in Minnesota, on Easter Sunday it is always sunny. I think God does that on purpose. Except last year, I specifically remember thinking, "Um God, Hello, it is Easter, where is your sun?" But this year not only was it sunny but it was also WARM, which we really have not had for a long time. 6 months really. Seriously, we have not had warm weather for 6 MONTHS. But yesterday it was glorious, 70 degrees, beautiful blue skies. I did not wear a coat, stood outside talking to friends while the kids did an easter egg hunt after church, sat on my parents deck after lunch, sat on my own patio until well past dinner time dragging myself in to feed the family. Glorious. If only every day the weather was that perfect...
This morning as I was writing out my prayer I thanked God for bringing the good weather in his perfect timing. But then I thought about that. While bringing perfect weather on Easter Sunday is perfect timing, couldn't we have had a nice ramp up to perfectly timed perfect weather? While I truly believe that God makes everything perfect in his perfect timing, it just got me thinking about the wait before the perfect timing. Because I think that a month ago the timing would have been pretty perfect too.
This was a LONG winter. And that isn't to say that throughout the winter I didn't know spring would come, it always does. Frankly, knowing spring would eventually come was what got me through winter. But did knowing it would come in God's perfect timing make it any easier? Make me long for the warmth any less?
Maybe it is just me but somehow when I think of the phrase, "All in God's perfect timing" I feel like the underlying message is: Therefore stop being unhappy where you are at, stop wishing for something you don't have, stop thinking about the future, stop...just stop. So as I think about spring coming in God's perfect timing this year and look back on how miserable I have felt about the weather the last couple months I immediately feel guilty for not being content and trusting in God's perfect timing.
But then I wonder. Does knowing God works all things out in his perfect timing, in his perfect way, mean I am not allowed to be miserable in a miserable situation? Does it mean I am not allowed to want for the better? For warm weather, for improved relationships, for financial security? Why do I think that because God takes care of everything I am not allowed to desire. When it is ridiculously cold and miserable outside am I not allowed to experience that?
I don't think that is right at all. We are called to be content in all situations but lately I have been learning that a desire for better does not automatically mean I am discontent. I can work to improve my life without being discontent with where it is right now. Or I can work to improve my life while being discontentment with where I am right now. Two vastly different experiences will follow. Somehow this truth seems so simple and obvious that I should have figured it out long before I was in my 40's. Yet I continue to learn and grow...all in God's perfect timing. So while I did have a couple days this winter of despairing discontentment over the weather, overall I was content to just walk through each day knowing God would work it out in his perfect timing. Whether I liked that particular timing or not.
If you need me for the next few months you can find me here, feeling content, enjoying the blessing of warm weather and soaking up the joy of spring and summer to contentedly get me through another cold and miserable winter next year.
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil 4:12-13
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Is 40:31