After years of serving just by the equator in Northern Brazil, our family moved to the Catarina Mountains in June of 2011 to open a new field and plant another church. One of the major differences between the two locations was the temperature. The Amazon was always hot, hotter or hottest, but in Santa Catarina we actually have all four seasons and June means winter since we are in the Southern Hemisphere. The winter of 2011 in our new city of Lages felt even colder because we found that houses were not equipped with central heat or even radiators. Folks still use cast iron stoves and fireplaces to heat their dwellings, so we had to adapt….and quick!
Our container didn’t arrive until August, so our family would huddle in one room of the house we rented and place all our air mattresses side by side with heating pads on them. We would work on documents and clean during the day and then bunch up at night for warmth to sleep. Have you ever slept on an air mattress for a month? It wasn’t the most comfortable month of my life, let me tell you! Eventually our shipping container arrived with our furniture and we were able to put our place together. But that first night after we had set up everyone’s beds, I found myself missing being all in one room huddled together and talking. It had been a precious month for me as a mommy to have my kids giggling and fussing all around me trying to stay warm in that room together.
Now my children are all scattered and either off on their own or in college or about to go. Gone are the days of doing the girls braids, checking the boys socks to see if they match, and yelling at them to stop picking on each other. Time really zipped by, and if I sit here and keep thinking about it, I will never get this post written because I will start to cry!
(Too late….I already need a Kleenex)
That dwelling place in Lages was ice cold, but my memories of my little family bring me a lasting warmth. And it is the same way in our lives when we go through trials and dry stretches as Christians. When we find ourselves in the midst of something difficult, we are struggling, but the difference is made once we use the Word to help us adapt to our new “surroundings”. And eventually we come through the hardship and we look back and remember how God helped us because we drew nearer to Him. His hand and help become precious memories don’t they?
The children of Israel had been removed from bondage in Egypt and brought across the Red Sea by God’s mighty hand. They sang praises to Him (Exodus 15) as they made it to the other side and realized He had brought them true victory.
But it didn’t take long for them to start complaining about water and then about food. How quickly they forgot how strong God was and how powerful He was!
Are you in the middle of an upheaval in your life?
Are you in a dry stretch and in need of Spiritual revival?
How about taking a few minutes to read these verses and dwell on the times when you and God were huddled up together going through a previous storm.
He brought you through, didn’t He?
He helped you learn to live victoriously, didn’t He?
He taught you something, didn’t He?
Then rely on Him again. He hasn’t changed and He will bring you through this. (I am talking to myself as much as anyone else reading this)
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Exodus 15:11
“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8
“For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.” Psalms 44:3
Until Next Time, Lord Willing,
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH WITH ME IN 36 WEEKS!
Today’s reading: Exodus 17-18 / II Samuel 10 / Psalm 36 / Acts 11