By: Andy Oldham
The weather can be tricky sometimes, especially here in the South. Cat-and-dog weather, as we call it here, reminds me of the story my Papaw tells of a time when he was hunting. He was alone and found himself lost. Deciding to rest while he gathered his bearings he leaned his double-barreled shotgun against a big hickory tree and sat down. After a time he was awakened from an unintended sleep by a wet pant leg. Noticing one pant leg was soaked and the other was dry, he reached for his gun only to discover one barrel was full of water and the other was dry as a bone. Now, you have to understand that Papaw was a big story-teller, so if you can believe this was his first experience with a scattered storm, then I am sure he would love to tell you a few more stories.
Most of us take each day for granted and live making plans for our family and our future. We never know when stormy times will blow our way. In February of 2011 I cracked my ankle and had it fused together with five screws. Before it was healed I was diagnosed with colon cancer. In addition to nearly seven months of being laid up, I lost both of my jobs. Still I am thankful; it could have been worse.
When scattered storms rain on us it can be a devastating and demoralizing time. These storms come throughout our lives in an attempt to lead us away from God. It’s easy to listen to the right words from well intended friends and even from the pulpit about walking by faith, but when it comes down to me being the one who is in the storm, and like Papaw can’t find my bearings, it seems a little harder to live in faith.
You can never emphasize enough the importance of knowing the scriptures and influence your daily prayer will have until you are the one thrown head first into a troublesome time. Consider it wholly joyful . . . whenever you . . . encounter trials of any sort . . . Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let the endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be (people) perfectly and fully developed (with no defects), lacking in nothing . . . James 1:2-4.
There is no way for us to escape these trials. As with Job they come without notice and are difficult to endure. Even in the middle of these hardships we can be assured that our endurance is proving our faith and will produce fortitude, commitment, and perseverance that is deficient in nothing. “Count it all Joy!” Paul says.
James is simply telling us that to go through a trial is to create a deeper relationship with the Father. Trials are never a happy time. Deut 6:7-9 Take a moment with God and look past the storm to understand its purpose. When we come out on the other side it is a joyful time, understanding full well that we have grown and matured in Christ.
Even in the Old Testament we are told to prepare for our trials and teach our children the scriptures. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them down on the doorsteps of your house and on your gates ( Deut 6:7-9). As a grandfather realize that when you are teaching God’s Word to your grandchildren you are embedding in them their resource of endurance for their future. Live the Scripture, and teach it you your grandchildren in the way you live your life. Correct them when they are wrong and give thanks in their presence when they are right. When you do you are also embedding it in your mind and heart as well?
Be diligent my friends and always be ready. …The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and He will cause you to recall everything I have told you.( John 14:26-27). Yes, the Holy Spirit will help you remember the scriptures. Rely on Him.