The first thing we experienced was a lack of sleep. Sticking to the sheets was miserable, even if there was a soothing patter of rain on the roof. Our twisted bedcovers attested to the restlessness. Doesn’t the enemy always send along tangling situations accompanied by misery? He loves to disturb our peace and rob us of our rest, and he does it best when we are under pressure.
After losing sleep AND being hot the next day, discomfort itched to be irritable. It took a conscious effort not to snap and snarl. The heat said, “I don’t want someone else in my space when the air is hot and my skin feels prickly!” Sound familiar? When spiritual fire is turned up, discontentment flares, agitation sets in, and we become easily put out with others. The atmosphere is perfect for offense, something that has Satan rubbing his hands with delight.
Finally, when the heat is up, it’s easy to become lethargic. The stifling air beckons, “Sit around and do nothing,” even though there is much that needs doing. Spiritually speaking, moments of testing can feel overwhelming. The temptation is to quit. Perhaps not to quit on God, but to sit down, to forsake the vision, to exchange effort for ease. The enemy would love to rob us of our purpose, our enthusiasm, our passion for God. He’d love to keep us inactive and ineffective; it’s how he silences our witness.
Just as in the good days of our lives, those days that are invaded by stifling temperatures are filled with choices. When the heat is on, it’s the perfect time for a shift. When our AC went out, we raised windows we usually keep closed, and we heard cricket songs we seldom listen to. We purchased fans to stir up the air we had and felt the value of electricity, a power source we usually ignore. We spent some time where the air was refreshing, relishing a run to the grocery store we typically dread going to. We changed our daily routines, walking after dark instead of in the daylight, and enjoyed the most beautiful nightscapes adorned with a glowing moon. We enjoyed the stillness, the pleasure of a glass of lemonade in hand. We enjoyed one another and fellowship of simply being together in our shared trouble. After several days of heat, we rejoiced over a shift in weather, which brought a blessedly cool morning—complete with soothing breeze and the hope of a cooler day.
When we are under fire, we can make similar choices. We can challenge ourselves to be grateful for blessings we have overlooked and treasure the things we often take for granted. We can stir up the gift within us, remembering that we have a Power source in the Spirit that doesn’t forsake us during the bad times. We can assemble with other believers, the church, where the air is charged with faith, an atmosphere in which our souls can be refreshed, and while we’re there, we can gain a fresh appreciation for the house of God. We can alter our routines to enjoy what we DO have rather than focusing on the impositions that vie for our attention. We can be still. Simply sitting and listening, even if we don’t feel what we hoped to feel. And we can choose encouragement, knowing that others have risen above the same trouble and are there to help us bear our burdens. When it seems like the heat is too hot to endure, the gentle breeze of God’s Spirit will remind us of His nearness and will whisper that He hasn’t forsaken us in the heat, that He’s there, and that’s enough.
With this mindset, we endure, but thankfully, the season of pressure isn’t forever. Whether it’s the arrival of the replacement AC unit, the shifting out of a spiritual slump, the end of a long and troublesome situation, or the grand, eternal finale when all the pressures of life are dissolved, the end of trying times will come, replaced by times of refreshing. The blessing will be poured out, deliverance will be ours, things will swing in our favor, and the choices of our endurance will be worth it. God’s best will be ours, and that is cool, indeed!
Tip/Tidbit: If you are going through a trying time, remember that God is for you. You CAN make it. The enemy who may be trying his best to bring you down, will one day face the heat. Take courage in knowing he will not win, but YOU will!