This morning, I joined with other brothers and sisters in Christ to worship outdoors at a former ranch. It was sunny, not a cloud in the sky, BUT it was also just barely above 40 degrees, and the wind was about 15mph; the feels-like temperature was below 40 degrees. It was not a comfortable morning, but I had several “ah-ha” moments, and I’d like to share those with you.
- When the wind would die down for a few seconds and you could only feel the sun, it would be quite warm. I was reminded of the Son of God (Jesus) who is the Light of the world, and will give us peace even in the midst of our storms.
- I noticed that when we were singing worship & praise songs and hymns, that the wind did not feel so cold. In the same way, giving worship and praise to our Lord will give us joy in the midst of our trials. I am reminded of the familiar song, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Worship and praise turns our eyes to look upon Jesus rather than the winds in our life..
- During the service, I shifted my chair a bit so my back was towards the wind. That caused me to be facing the mountains in the distance. I was reminded of the verse that says, “I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 It was another reminder that when the winds of life get strong and cold, I am to look to the Lord for my help, and not to guns, security systems, money, beauty, popularity, sex, drugs, or the many other “aids” that the world offers us.
4. I also could not help but think that while I was very uncomfortable, this was the first time in over 65 years of attending worship services that I have been physically uncomfortable. I was reminded of what the early Christians faced when they were persecuted for their faith, and many thousands since who have suffered much in order to serve and worship the Lord. I truly had little to complain about this morning!
I am reminded that the author of Hebrews tells us to offer an sacrifice of praise.
“Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.” Hebrews 13:15
I’m not sure if what we did this morning qualifies as that, or not. I do know that I (and I’m guessing some others) thought about giving it up and heading home because it was so cold. However, I stayed so that I might offer a testimony of my love for my Lord in this open public place. And at the end, the vast majority of us raised our hands when our pastor asked if we wanted to meet there again next Sunday.
To God be the glory!!
P.S. Long-range forecast for next Sunday is mid-upper 50s and 8mph winds. Thank you, Lord, for Your mercy!