Reflections by Dot Cutter — October 2019

The sky is a brilliant blue; the breeze is gently pumping in warm, humid air from the south and the thermometer is soaring into the upper 80s. Sounds like a perfect summer beach day. Yet it is late September and both the changing foliage and my calendar tell me it is autumn. Blessed to live in a region of our vast country that experiences four distinct seasons, I’m confused. Like an apple, it’s supposed to be cool and crisp, is it not? Ah—but seasons in New England are known to also be unpredictable. Spring is a season of abundant budding, with beauty and promises galore; yet an errant snowfall atop my daffodils and tulips is an all too common unwelcome occurrence. Summer presents us with some magnificent days that make us forget the piercing cold of winter, but scorching heat, humidity, alternating drought and booming thunderstorms challenge farmers and the most dedicated of ordinary gardeners. Autumn will transition into winter replete with its barren trees, cold biting winds, snow, ice, and occasional thaws. Often I find it to be the most intense and unpredictable of all seasons; coupled with short daylight, most of us hunker down and simply endure it all the while longing for springtime. Are we ever satisfied?

While the meteorological seasons present us with their own challenges, emotional seasons of life are equally as unpredictable and daunting. Times of great blessing, happiness, and contentment are like the summer sunshine – a giant windfall, but they seldom last forever. Interspersed are those unpredictable winds of change we neither seek nor welcome. And sometimes, despite our careful plans and precautions, the unexpected can throw us into a slow downward spiral or a sudden tornadic tailspin.

Then what will be our response? We do have choices. We can lament from the bottom of our miry pit or look up to the Lord. We can plead for the circumstances to change or we can praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness in the midst of our trials. Which course will we choose? Can we be peaceful in the midst of chaos, difficulties, insurmountable obstacles, walls, barriers, and slammed doors, resistant people, governmental persecution, lack of freedom, unfairness? Are we not truly blessed to have before us the roadmap of all roadmaps to success out of these entrapments? Our Bibles are our roadmaps and the Holy Spirit is our promised modern day GPS. From Old Testament through New we are plied with so many words of encouragement. The Word of God is a veritable arsenal against every trouble that threatens to annihilate us (yes, there is an enemy who does indeed want to annihilate us).

In Ps. 3, King David laid out his complaints/problems to the Lord but quickly acknowledged that God was his shield, his glory, and the One who lifted his head. Praise is indeed the beginning of the victory we need to latch onto. Paul exhibited a solid pattern of praise against every misfortune he encountered and could therefore truthfully say, “I have learned to be content in all circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.” As Paul looked to Christ, he found all the sufficiency he needed, whether substantive, emotional, or spiritual. Christ carried him through every season of life. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, our attitudes and appetites likewise will change from wanting everything to accepting and enjoying His provision and power to live victoriously for Him.
Whether you and I are in the blossoming of spring, the warmth of summer, a hurricane of autumn, the still beauty or biting winds of winter, we can count on our relationship with Jesus to power us safely through. That’s the best weather prediction the world has to offer. So rejoice!

Dot Cutter