Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Will Rejoice And Be Glad In It

It's 5:45 AM and it looks like my next hour or so is going to be spent digging out our automobiles for the work commute this morning. This is usually when I break the 11th Commandment and find myself "coveting my neighbor's garage".

The "Snow Fairy" came last night and the 26 degree temperatures have allowed for an accumulation of two inches or so, here in the Ashland area. According to the morning news weather lady, we were spared the worst of the area snowfall. Areas east of Charleston, WV and into the eastern West Virginia mountains are receiving upwards of 10 inches of the white stuff. That's great news for the ski resorts in Canaan Valley, Snowshoe, and Winter Place, but not so great for those who are traveling along I-79 and the West Virginia Turnpike.

The news reports say that a new "arctic front" will be coming through our area on Saturday morning, beginning with freezing rain, and bringing us nightime temperatures in the single digits most of next week. Burrrrr! But it is January, and we can expect no less. This is the time of the year when students, just back in school from their Christmas vacation, go to bed praying for this type of weather - and a snow day or two. This winter blast comes on the heels of heavy rainfall yesterday. We had over an inch of rain here in the Tri State, but down in the coal fields of Logan and Mingo Counties in West Virginia, and Pike, Floyd and Martin Counties in Kentucky, over two inches of rain fell in the past 24 hours. There are areas of flooding and scattered road closures, but no reports of any serious damage. I would suppose that we should all be thankful that the rain was not snow. Had it been, we would REALLY be digging out this morning!

Bundling up like an Eskimo and shoveling snow before daylight, makes the thoughts of that upcoming mission trip to the Philippines seem extra special. Only 38 days to go!

While the weather in this part of the country can be unpredictable and sometimes very inconvenient, it is nice to live in a region with four distinct seasons. God's handiwork is truly marvelous. His palette is colorful and the finished results are truly masterful. The changing seasons always remind me of the cycles of life. The newness of the spring and the joys and activities of the summer are like the blessings of our youth and the prime of our lives. Autumn brings us the realization of our shortening days and that signals the coming of winter. The cold days of winter, when the vegetation dies, or lays dormant, remind us that death awaits each of us. The 90th Psalm reminds us of the same fact. "In the morning they are like grass which grows up: In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers". The Psalmist goes on to say, "For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away". But then comes spring, with the reminder of the resurrection hope that we have in Christ.

Each day of the year brings it's own challenges, but I have learned that life is good and every day is precious. Rain, heat, snow, financial difficulties, health challenges, personal loss - no matter what - this is the day that a gracious, loving God has sent our way. My relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ, transcends any temporal bumps in the road. I echo the thoughts of the psalmist in Psalm 118: 24, "This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."

I hope your day is a blessed one!

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