Stay out in the heat.
I chose to stay out in the heat for a little while and be sweaty and uncomfortable because I know how I am once I go inside to the comforts of the air conditioning. I get distracted and other things get my attention and my time trying to savor Him is no where near as sweet. I opened the book I have been reading, Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge, which I highly recommend by the way, and a few paragraphs in, he referenced a verse, Matthew 24:12.
And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
I had to know more about the phrase "will grow cold", because it was obvious the love was once present in the people He was describing and I did not want that to happen to me. The original word for that phrase means "to breathe or refresh with cool air".
Because things were so bad, they had sought relief in the air conditioning, and their love for Jesus grew cold. Follow me for just a minute, would you? He impressed upon me more than the obvious here.
Y'all, it's been hot here. Not just outside. My life has seemed very hot and sweltering for a couple of years now because of things happening to me and to the people I love. Severe illness, death, uncertainty, plain old getting old (HAHA!), unjust things happening to people dear to us. Hurting for people who were hurting and carrying their burdens along side them, trying to lovingly let go of children as they spread their own wings, while still trying to protect them. Watching friends and family grieve. It has been so swelteringly miserable at times, I would have done almost anything for 5 minutes of relief and refreshing, just to not feel anything. I begged Him for relief. A little would come here and there and then as soon as we could wipe the sweat from our brows, boom, the midday heat sizzled again.
It sort of becomes survival only mode at that point. And that's then when you comprehend the verse in Hebrews that says we will receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken. When everything else is shaken up, He is all that remains.
Y'all as much as I've whined to Him (and everyone else!) about how hard this season has been, I am thankful He did not give me the relief I begged and ached for. I'm afraid if He had allowed me the air conditioning my love may have grown cold. That's the last thing I want or need. The scary thing about living in the air conditioning is that you don't realize how cool you have become.
The ironic thing about this truth He showed me was that he prepared me a few days before with an example and I had no idea at the time. My husband and I were coming out of Cracker Barrel. It was afternoon and it was warm outside. As I looked at the porch lined with rockers, there were several people taking advantage of them, rocking and chatting with those around them. I noticed that everyone on the porch was older, part of a wiser generation and everyone my age and younger sought the comfort of the air conditioned gift shoppe. I remember saying to my husband, "the older people don't seem to mind to be a little uncomfortable just to enjoy some company and conversation."
When I read this verse in Matthew and thought about the heat, the air conditioning, and my heart, this Cracker Barrel visual immediately came back to my mind.
Breathe in cool air, you cool off. Breathe in hot air, you get hot.
Sometimes it is so sweltering in life that all you can do is do one breath at a time, and that's what I did through this tough time. I inhaled in the truths I knew about Him.
Inhale - He is completely good, no matter how bad things may seem. Exhale
Inhale - He loves me more than I can understand. Exhale
Inhale - I am completely His and that will never change. Exhale
And the passion in our hearts for Him burns with greater heat.
I don't want to breathe in spiritually cool air just to be comfortable. I would rather be on fire for Him on the inside. How about you?
Y'all, it's been hot here, but He has been with me through every drop of sweat and for every breath. He will do the same for you.