Thursday, May 13, 2010
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It was April in the mountains of the West, which means you can experience any or all of the four seasons during one trip. We had actually started our journey in warm temperatures, but by the time we hit that mountain pass, it started to snow - I mean the thick, big flakes kind of snow. All of us actually started singing Christmas carols - even though it was just a few days before Easter. We were racing a deadline, so the snow was a mixed blessing. It was incredibly beautiful, but it was almost blinding at times, and it made our trip slower and more treacherous. And then we saw it - a thin line of sunshine between the bottom of the snow clouds and the tops of the mountains ahead. We were excited because that was our future.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Brighter Skies Ahead."
It was tough driving, and the journey was getting more difficult and more dangerous. But we were okay with that because we knew there were brighter skies ahead. And soon we were actually basking in sunshine everywhere.
It could be that you're driving a stretch in your life-journey right now that's pretty rough. You're getting tired of how hard it is to keep moving. You're anxious about what could happen and you're wondering how long it's going to be like this. You need to see some sunshine. And there is some. I love this simple reassurance of Psalm 30:5. It's our word for today from the Word of God, where He says, "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." The Bible never denies that we will have seasons of hurt and weeping, but God wants us to see the sun beneath the clouds ahead. It won't always be this way. He promises that. He says that after tears in the night, there will be joy in the morning.
My wife was driving when we hit that heavy snow in the mountains. But when she saw that line of sunlight ahead, she said, "If I knew I had to drive like this all night, it would be tough. But I know there's better road ahead." That's God's guarantee for every child of His. Whenever I think I've got a heavy burden, it helps me to think about the load the Apostle Paul carried - shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, rejection, and death threats - major storms; perilous journey.
But he said, "We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory that far outweighs them all." Paul calls all those painful times "light and momentary" even though he's in the middle of some of that pain. He's comparing it to the sunshine ahead, knowing that compared to how good and how long the good times are going to be, this junk is light and momentary. So, he says, "we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Temporary. This too shall pass. And the day on the other side of this night is going to be awesome!
The difference is what you choose to fix your eyes on. If you focus on the storm you're in, you'll lose hope. You'll give up. But if you keep your eyes on the sun on the horizon - the rewards for your faithfulness, the deepening of your relationship with your Lord, the better thing God will give you in place of what you have lost - then there will be joy in this journey. So, keep on driving. Drive carefully and look down the road at the beauty that's ahead. For just like us on that snowy, stormy day, you'll soon be celebrating a break in the clouds and a day that is flooded with glorious sunlight. No matter how dark it looks now, there are brighter skies ahead!