Alabama weather: you really just never know. I’m sure folks in other parts of the Deep South feel the same way, but let me give you an example…Saturday and Sunday, I had a photo shoot each day. I wore shorts and t-shirts each day and was as comfortable as could be. Sunday, I was even sweating a little. It was warm, but the weather was picture perfect for this photographer!
And then Monday showed up…
It rained all night Sunday night and into Monday. I wore long pants and a pullover to work on Monday. Today it’s even colder. But the rain–oh my gosh–it rained so much!
A friend of mine posted a couple of pictures on Facebook Monday with this as the caption, “I just want to splash in the puddles!”
It gave me pause.
Isn’t life so much like our infamous Alabama weather?
We’re rolling along, whistling, “Zip-a-dee-doo-da-zip-a-dee-aye-my-oh-my-oh-what a wonderful day!” and then all of a sudden, the bottom falls out.
It’s raining cats and dogs and we’re stuck in a downpour!
Or are we?
Are we stuck?
Or is it really all about our perspective?
I think we’ve forgotten that this Christian life never promised to be all roses and kittens and a cotton candy.
Jesus told us in the book of John, Chapter 16, verse 33, “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
The very Son of God gave us a promise that life wouldn’t always be a cake walk, but that in fact we WILL continue to have bad days, hard times, and that it won’t always be easy.
Life, this side of forever, sucks sometimes.
Poverty is real.
Racism wasn’t left behind in the 60’s.
There’s the quote you need to put on your next little E-card, “Jesus loves me, this I know, but shit happens.”
It makes me think about some valleys that my Lindsey and I have walked through in our life together (we started dating eight years ago, yesterday, and I can truly say that I am more in love with her than I’ve ever been!):
Like I said, Mrs. Lindsey and I have been through some STUFF, but so have you. We’ve all had our ups and downs, been thrown curve balls, and felt all alone in the middle of a downpour, but the good news is that we have NEVER been left alone! Jesus said we would continue to face hard times, but that He’s already won and that in the end, when we see Him again in Heaven, it will all be worth it.
John 16:21 and the verses following says:
When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you.
That is exactly what it seems like we are experiencing right now! Caroline Grace Austin was born two weeks ago and her name means “Free Grace” (how fitting, right?). Lindsey and I see her as such a gift–she’s just one more example of God’s never-ending fountain of second chances.
We all have choices in life.
Stuff is going to come our way that is less than desirable, but we choose our response.
We choose to wallow in the mud or splash in the puddles!
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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