Work was a beating today, and I’m not really sure why. I sped home so I could put the day behind me as quickly as I could. I walked into my apartment with some trepidation as my air conditioning messed up all last summer and wouldn’t work properly for more than six hours straight. Thankfully, it’s been running well for two days now (knock on wood). I changed into my running clothes and laced my shoes ready to run for Boston.
I’ve been waiting all winter for warmer weather so I could be more consistent in running and finally drop some of that obnoxious Christmas weight. I swear, it’s like it’s payback for turning Jesus’s birthday into a commercialized holiday. I looked at my phone’s weather app and it said 85 degrees. Well, it was better than the 90 degrees I ran in yesterday. So, I hurried out the door before I could change my mind.
I was about a mile and a half into the run when the heat really hit me. I’m not sure if I finally lost the shade, or if the cloud cover that had been there all. day. long. decided to leave on the home stretch of my run, but I realized that all I wanted right then was cooler weather. I’d been waiting all winter for it to warm up, and now that it has I wanted it to cool down.
Then I realized that this is how many of us, myself included, approach the Christian life. When we’re inside, warm and comfortable by the fireplace, we long to grow deeper in the faith and closer to God. But when He leads us away from the comfort of the fireplace and takes us outside to run with us, under the scorching sun, we want to be inside again where we feel controlled warmth and tangible comfort. When we spend our days reading Scripture and books and blogs, we long to feel His Spirit’s nearness. When He allows trials to come our way, so that we might internalize all that we’ve read about the gospel and Church and community, we long for the life of comfort and being unchallenged again.
We are a fickle people, swayed by our emotions and how we feel. Yet we serve a God who loves His glory and His people. And this God knows what is best for both His glory and His people. Sometimes that means leading us to the river and making us rest. Sometimes that means shepherding us into and through the refining fire.
In all of this, He is with us. He is with us in the times of comfort, helping us find joy in the gospel through much needed rest. He is with us in times of trial, helping us find joy in the gospel through allowing us to realize just how much we need Him.
In all things, He is making us like Christ.