Living in Florida my idea of winter is anytime the temperature drops below 60 degrees. At that point, I do the shiver-me-timbers dance. You don’t want to know!
Experiencing a rather cold afternoon last week, I queried the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage on this subject.
“Why,” I asked rather philosophically, “did God give us winter?”
My wife was busy in the kitchen at the time, but she turned around, put both hands on her hips and said, “So you could go out and buy a new sweater.” Then she went back to her kitchen activity.
Of course, it did not really answer my question. Why is God interested in my sweaters? Why can’t he allow me to have a climate that eliminates the use of sweaters? I could handle that.
Then my wife interrupted my muse session and said, “God gave us winter so that we would appreciate summer when it came.” Then she went back to her kitchen work.
As I thought about that, I had to admit that she is right.
That happens all the time. God gives us something that is not very comfortable at the time and then when it goes away we appreciate the quiet time.
Just like the neighbors when they are playing their music so loud it is thumping in my head, when they turn it off I appreciate the silence. But when all I have is silence, I fail to really value it.
Getting back to winter. Of course, from my perspective, I cannot see any real value in winter. Sure, some people like snow. The only snow I like is on postcards. I have had enough of snow in my life that I do not want any more of it.
Some people enjoy the snow: sledding, skiing, making snow angels. All of these things I can do without, thank you very much.
However, as I was shivering this terrible winter afternoon, I got to thinking about how wonderful summer really is. In the middle of summer, I do not really appreciate it, as I should. Once it has gone, I sure do miss it.
I remembered one summer afternoon that was so stinking hot that you could hardly breathe. My wife was sitting across from me on the porch, she happened to sigh very deeply and say, “I’m tired of this hot weather.”
For me, I enjoy hot weather and the hotter the better for me. I do not mind sweating. One of the best things about summer is when I can say, “Honey, I would love to do that or go there but it’s really too hot.” She will smile at me and say, “Yes, I think you’re right. It is too hot.”
In order to get us to appreciate something God takes it away from us temporarily until we come to the point of full appreciation. I believe God knows what he is doing. Going through a trial with all kinds of frustration and aggravation, I begin to appreciate those quiet times of waiting upon God.
I wonder if that’s what Peter had in mind when he wrote, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7).
All those trials of winter lead me to praise God for the glory of summer.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.jamessnyderministries.com. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.