“The secret of surviving the harsh climate is not to resist it, or resent it,
but to embrace, and live in harmony with it….”
Wise words from an old mountain-dweller. And good to remember on a cold, damp, dreary day in the North of England. (Please note, this post is about how we respond to the standard seasonal weather where we live. It is not referring to the unusual and catastrophic weather patterns that many have seen around the world this year. For climate crises such as these, there is, without question, grace available to those who need it. But these are not the focus here.)
We British have elevated grumbling about the weather to an art form, but for those of us who claim to be Christ-followers, maybe it has too high a price tag. Think what happened to the Israelites as a result of their grumbling!
The Book of Numbers tells several stories of Israel's complaints in the wilderness, and the dire consequences for the nation. One of these is related in Numbers 21:4-9, the penalty for their 'murmuring' being venomous snake bites. It should make me stop and think—am I opening myself up to a 'snake-attack', through what is coming out of my mouth?
Of course, we're not talking about literal snakes here, but about the negative influence of the powers of darkness, whom Jesus characterised as 'snakes and scorpions'. We're told not to give the Evil One any foothold [Ephesians 4:27], or to keep with the metaphor, an opportunity to 'bite'; apparently, a grumbling, complaining attitude does just that...
Fortunately, this story, while warning of the consequences of whinging, is also one of hope, for the Israelites found healing from their snake-bites through looking at the bronze serpent raised up by Moses. When Jesus was crucified, He defeated every evil force [Colossians 2:15]; and if we, like the Israelites of old, gaze steadfastly at the Cross, we can find healing and deliverance from the consequences of our foolishness.
REJOICE AND BE GLAD
As we approach winter, let's take some time to think how we can embrace and live in harmony with the season; and importantly, instead of griping, what can we find to be grateful for?
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
What comes out of our mouths is really important, not only does it affect our personal well-being, it also influences the spiritual climate around us—either positively or negatively. Let's determine to be the people who charge the atmosphere with joy.
A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth....
[Proverbs 12:14 NKJV]
Death & life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
[Proverbs 18:21 NKJV]
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God,
that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his Name.
[Hebrews 13:15 NKJV]
Let's determine to put grumbling aside; and instead look for the many blessings which grace our lives—even in a challenging climate. Let me know how you get on...
For more on the way thanksgiving affects our wellbeing, see CHOOSING GRATITUDE.
NEXT WEEK: TAKE TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK
Let's review our festive expectations, and take steps to manage them...
GET IN TOUCH...
[Photo credits: Greg Rosenke (runners); Art Lasovsky (pen) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
All text and photographs,
unless otherwise credited
All rights reserved.
All credited photos are used by permission from
**The owner of this website, www.rhythmsofgraceuk.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme. This is an affiliate advertising programme which earns fees for sites which advertise and link to products supplied by Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, and amazon.co.uk.
Please note: commissions are supplied by Amazon; there are no hidden costs for visitors to this website, and all resources shown are genuine recommendations,