Sunday, August 26, 2007

Go West Young Man

We all have decisions that we have to make each and every day. Pants or skirt? Black or brown? Right or left? North or south? East or west?

On Friday evening I choose to go west. Not that big of decision...I could run my errand either direction. For those of you who don't know, when I go west I cross the bridge and head into Pinellas County. There was a light mist coming down. Lightning could be seen in the distance. The sunset was beautiful.



I have noticed that the sunsets are prettier after a storm. There may be some scientific or meteorological explanation, but I don't know. Maybe it is the contrast between the darkness of an afternoon thunderstorms and the vibrant colors of the sunset. Maybe it the clouds that diffuse and disperse the light of the sun. Maybe it is the moisture that remains in the air that catches the rays of the sun causing the variety of colors- much like what causes a rainbow to appear. (Those last two are my dad's theories.)

In life we all go through storms and trials. Sometimes these are do to our own actions, mistakes, or consequences. Other times God uses these to bring about change in our lives. Either way, He can use them to refine, stretch, and mature us. It often is painful. It often is ugly. We can feel beat down and like the storm will never end. But when it is all said and done the work that has been done in our lives is like the sunset after a rainstorm. God's glory shines through and His handy work is evident for all to see.



6 comments:

meems said...

beautiful sunset photos once again. you have really been able to capture some pretty ones this season. i'm with you - i don't know the scientific reasons but i have made the same observation about them after a storm. it's my own theory that they seem to be especially brilliant in the fall too.

i don't mean to contradict here but i would like to ask if you meant that God brings the storms and trials in order to bring about change in our lives? because i've seen a boatload of christians stay beat down and their storms never seem to end because of the choices they make. the end result isn't stretched, refined or matured and God hasn't gotten any glory because they never seem to get to the other side of the trouble.

i don't believe God creates or orchestrates our personal storms in order to change us. in my view the bible is clear when it says "He gave us His word for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work."

seems to me the word of God is sufficient for us - we are the ones that are resposible to avail ourselves of what God has already provided for us.

anyway, would you mind to clarify for me?

Jane said...

meems-

I am wondering if this is one of those times that we really do agree with one another, but I have failed in communicating clearly. Anyway, your questions, thoughts, beliefs, etc. are always welcome...I also like the fact that you cause to pull out my Amplified Bible. ;)

I definitely believe that God's word is sufficient. 2 Peter 1:3-9 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called s by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine natures and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if yo possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from past sins."

The problem is that sometimes I do forget. I wish I didn't. I wish I took everything that I read in the Bible to heart and into practice. It would make my life so much easier. However, I have been known to be a little stubborn, to need a little pushing, prodding, or just a good swift kick in the right direction.

I also know that James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kind, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." 1 Peter 1:6-7 talks about how trials "have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perished even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

I agree that a lot Christians never seem to make it to the other side. It is a sad fact. Something happens and instead of being strengthened they become broken. It isn't pretty to watch, especially when you love that person and it changes your relationship with them..but that is a completely different subject.

I know personally, that I am often the creator of my own storms. It is my bad judgment or decisions that cause them. Sometimes though, they happen. I think of Luke 22:31-32 when Jesus tells Peter that Satan has asked to "sift" him but that Jesus has prayed for Peter that his faith wouldn't fail and that he is to strengthen the others.

Ultimately, I think we have two choices when we face trials- run to God or run away from Him. When we run to Him that is when we are matured and refined. If we choose to run away, then God doesn't get any glory and we find ourselves in a position were we are worse off than when we began.

Does this help clarify? And what do you think?

(When I first read your comment I thought about Proverbs 27:9.)

Meems said...

yes, it does help clarify and i think we have merged back onto the same page. :-)

Our faith will be tested and satan does wish to sift us but our faith in God can and will (when we turn to Him) see us through. Let's always remind ourselves and each other to run "to" God --never away. thanks so much for your thoughts.

Jane said...

I had a feeling we would end up on the same page. ;)

Speaking of sunsets...I blew up the other picture to an 8 x 10. Today I got it matted and framed. It looks beeeeeautiful...even if I do say so myself.

Meems said...

great idea on the framed photo. where did you put it?

Jane said...

Right now it is on the floor, next to the book shelf. In other words...I haven't decided. It was in the chair up until tonight...