Updated: Feb 1
I grew up in Southern California in a place that was in the middle of everywhere. I could drive to the beach, the mountains, and the desert all in one day, and be back in my home in suburbia that evening. Our schools had built-in snow days for the calendar year, but we never used them for snow. Sometimes, snow did fall in our hometown, but it was more like a dusting, not even enough to make a snowball. That is why we would drive less than an hour up to the mountains to play in the real snow, and then come back down to our homes and play outside in our own yards without the need of a jacket. When we moved to the middle of the country almost nine years ago, I was in for a rude awakening. My sister bought me a down-filled coat that Christmas because she knew about winter weather that involved not just rain, but snow and ice. That year, the school I was working at used up all of their built-in snow days, and then some.
The summers in this part of the country is also a bit different than what I was used to in California. I was used to dry and very hot days. The mornings would often be cool and comfortable, the days would be very hot, and then there would be some cool off for the evenings. We now live in a place where it rains in the summer (hot rain), and stays humid all day and night. We get through it, though.
I think the Spring is my favorite season, anywhere I've lived. The trees and flowers start blooming again, the temperatures are "just right", and everything seems a bit new again. Green is my favorite color, and there is plenty of that to see all around.
When I talk to people about the weather, I am not trying to just make small talk. I am genuinely interested in what I should prepare for. As a student, I usually carried an umbrella in my backpack all year round. I continued that habit for several years. Now, I usually have at least one umbrella in my vehicle at all times. When I ask someone if they think it is going to rain, the answer is often, "You never know. This IS Arkansas. The weather can change at any time."
What is the point of what I am talking about? I feel like people around me have been hit with losing loved ones in just a matter of weeks. We have been updated on several people whose battles are finally over. Others have been diagnosed with new illnesses and their battles have just begun. Sometimes things are going so well, we can just thank God for all that He has blessed us with. Often, though, if we ask, people are struggling and need God to intervene every step of their way. Just like Arkansas weather, our lives can change dramatically in just a day. In all of the craziness of this world, though, we know that God remains the same. When we choose to follow His Son, we are not promised an easy life here. Yet, we are promised an eternity with Him. Someday, there will be no death or suffering, sickness and tragedy. Let's keep the faith, and keep our eyes on Him, even when they are filled with tears.
12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
Revelation 14:11-13 (New International Version)
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:3-5 (English Standard Version)