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What's the forecast for your faith?

BY PASTOR DOUG GIVAN

I am a middle-of-the-road guy when it comes to the weather. I do not care for the high heat wave we have going on here in Central Indiana. I also do not care for the sub-zero temps we have deep in the winter. I like the “middle” temperatures. Who doesn’t love to open windows in the spring and let that cool air blow through the house? Or the fall sweatshirt weather that comes in late September/October?

When I go out to my car later today, the very sunshade I have on the dashboard will feel melted. The temperature in the car when I start it up will be 110 degrees or something outrageous. The lovely water bottles I keep in the back seat for refreshment on the way home will be like melted candle wax on your hand. I want to get one of those automatic starters and maybe start my car a few minutes before I leave. That’s the way to go.

In regard to my weather issues, I also prefer a smooth transition in between these seasons, not cold one day, sunburn the next. As the season prepares to change I want a few days, maybe weeks, to transition from one to the next. If only I could somehow affect the weather. In fact, if it were up to me, I would send heavy rain to where the wildfires are burning. I would release the areas where there is flooding, and I would fix all this weather stuff around the country and the world. Alas, I don’t have the control, and neither do you..

What if we apply this to our faith and our spiritual journey today and ask, “How’s the (spiritual) weather?” How is the weather of your faith life? Stormy right now? Perhaps you are facing a drought and can’t see water anywhere, or the opposite and you feel flooded and rained upon? Maybe you are freezing cold today in your spiritual life; it happens to all of God’s people.

However, we do have some control over our spiritual lives. I once read a bumper sticker that said, “Feeling distant from God? Check and see who moved.” Sometimes the people we let into our lives drag us down or freeze us out. Sometimes the storms are of our own creation. We probably are holding some deep emotions that darken the landscape. Read Mark 6: 25-31 and take comfort as Jesus calms the storms of life.

What we know is that after every dark storm, morning comes. After each dark winter, light appears in the springtime of our hearts. Open the windows of your life for the fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit. Release the guilt and pain and anger and feel the Son warm your soul. Walk out of the darkness and into the Light of Christ. God has everything we need, every day, no matter the weather.

God bless you.

Pastor Doug Givan is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and lives in Crawfordsville.