Can you hear it?

Majestic alone beech tree on a hill slope with sunny beams at mo

Can you hear it?

It’s the goodbye song carried on the breeze
as summer falls into a sweet sleep

It’s the musical laughter of young children
as they jump into piles previously raked

It’s the crinkling of leaves underfoot as
the bright yellow bus pulls in

It’s the delighted whispers of the newly
crisp breeze, cooling cheeks

It’s autumn approaching quickly

Karis Cooper, Age 13 – Nashville, TN RevivingTheSoul Publications, 2016

When Your Mood Matches The Weather

The buds of the tree frozen in ice

Laura and I woke up early this morning to let our new labradoodle, Tulip, out of her crate and into the cold air to “do her business” in the out-house of our front lawn. A gift for my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday, Tulip has brought a lot of joy to our home.

When I opened the front door this morning, I was somewhat surprised, but not shocked, to be greeted by snow flakes falling in the crisp, cool air. Spring officially began on March 20th, but it still feels like winter in the section of the Northern Hemisphere where I reside.

It’s no wonder that this Spring would tease us by peeking and dashing like a school-age game of hide-and-go-seek. Snow in Spring is fitting following a winter that has been unusually cold.

Sometimes I imagine that it’s all the fascination with the movie Frozen that is delaying the inevitable, and enviable, arrival of warmer weather. And as much as I love the movie, I’m ready to sing, “Let it go!” with a new idea in mind.

Snow, in and of itself, is a beautiful thing, and I’m grateful to live in a place where we typically experience all four seasons. The problem for me (and, as a result, my wife at times) is that often my mood matches the weather. Lately, it has resembled a yo-yo effect of vacillating frequently, and it has not been uncommon to end a day encouraged only to wake up feeling very sad. I wonder if you can relate?

One Thing Never Changes

Over the years, through many changing seasons, I have been greatly served by the writings and sermons of Charles Spurgeon. It seems he had a constitution much like my own, so his writings have served me well. This quote is from Beside Still Waters, and it can be of help to all of us whose moods tend to match this weather we are experiencing:

“I have sometimes envied those good people who are never excited with joy and consequently are seldom or ever depressed. ‘Along the cool, sequestered vale of life they hold the even tenor of their way.’ Happy people! At the same time, when I rise as with eagle’s wings in joyful rapture, I feel right glad to be capable of the blissful excitement. Yet if you soar to the skies, you are apt to drop below sea level. He that can fly, can fall.

If you are so constituted that you rise and fall, if you are a creature who can be excited and then depressed… then you can only be strong by faith… Settle this in your heart. “Whether I am up or down, the Lord Jesus Christ is the same. Whether I sing or sigh, the promise is true and the Promiser is faithful… If you will stand firm in Christ Jesus, even in your weakness you will be made strong” (p. 21).

This morning, as the snow falls and the wind chills in Spring, I am so thankful that the Lord Jesus Christ is the same: yesterday, today, and forever – the same. Our God does not change like shifting shadows or erratic seasons, and His mercies are new every morning, regardless of the weather. We are secure in Him, and that’s a reason for joy in every season!

What Gives Rest To The Soul

Water drop

For years, I have enjoyed reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional. It’s an oasis of comfort leading to the fountain of true joy. Excerpts like this one point me to the One who alone gives rest to the soul:

“It is always the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus. But Satan’s work is just the opposite; he is constantly trying to make us look at ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you do not have the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold on Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within.

But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is everything. Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, although that is the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits.

Therefore, do not look so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ as to Christ; do not look to your hope but to Jesus, the source of your hope; do not look to your faith, but to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of your faith.

We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our deeds, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we are to overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking to Jesus.”

Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession be fresh upon your mind. When you wake in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you.

‘My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.'”

Morning by Morning, p. 192 (June 28).

May tonight find us looking to Jesus and resting in Him.