Well it’s summer time in good old Australia and with the temperatures way above 40 deg C, sweaty and hot days are the norm.
Made me think as I turned on the air conditioner just how times have changed and I began to reminisce to myself about the past.
Doesn’t seem that long ago that air conditioners/central heating & cooling were a dream for the future – sort of like a scifi film of some distant future time made up of dreams and wishes.
With oscillating fans trying at least to keep the hot air moving, the family together in a hot little room with the west-facing windows heavily shaded and shut tightly to stop the hot sun from making the ‘furnace’ even hotter.
And bedtime! what can one say?? – laying on top of the sheets waiting for the fan at last to make it’s slow revolution across your sweaty body so you could at least catch a breath of some sort of moving air and to cool the pooling sweat particles.
As kids we would talk mum into putting on the sprinkler and run back and forth around the yard like made things squirting each other with water pistols and buckets of water.
The beach Oh! the beach – heaven awaited us! Into the car, of course minus the air conditioning and with wind down windows and all vents open we at least hoped to catch a breath of hot air as the car struggled with the family on board to get to our destination.
Once arrived, there was the run across the tarred road that almost burned the soles off your bare feet and that was even before reaching the scorching sand. Then the dash down to the water to jump in and spend the next hour or so before turning blue with cold.
The cold didn’t last long before struggling back to the car to perch with bare legs and back on the blazing hot vinyl seats of dads old Holden for the journey back home where you were just as hot if not hotter than you were before the whole adventure started.
Back to the fan and a cold drink and then all hang out for the ‘southerly buster’ to come and cool things down to everyone’s relief.
Things are so different now – with a flick of the switch we can have instant cooling/warming. Swimming pools in the backyard and air conditioned cars all go to make life that little bit more comfortable.
As a Christian I have changed too! Again, I look back over the years to where I have come from and where I have been through my Christian walk and must admit I am gobsmacked with the change that God has made in my life.
Like the wind-down windows and the oscillating fans, things were so different way back then – God to me was this BIG person way out there wielding a gigantic stick and making me do the ‘right’ thing and if I didn’t there were all sorts of threats and punishments just waiting to be dished out.
I often thought that I would be somehow ‘cut-off’ from God if I stepped out of line too often and if I crossed the invisible line of His patience and make all hell (literally) break out.
Like the Israelites of long ago who were so influenced by those nations round about them I too was influenced by my distortion of God. My vision of God was one of Him being cruel, vengeful and uncaring but actually He demonstrates that He is the very opposite.
If you, like me are anxious about your thoughts, ideas, feelings and desires that so often seem to lure you away from God’s plan for your life, then like the Israelites, God can and will cut-off and do away with those hurtful and wicked thoughts that pervade your mind.
You are NOT in danger of being completely cut-off or condemned in judgement, instead God applies forgiveness when needed and through His mercy and Grace and use of amazing ‘spiritual surgery’ removes those feelings of hopelessness and despair.
So if like me you have been thinking of God as uncaring and cruel, I hope this new understanding about Him removes much of your dread about this seemingly vengeful God. He is our Shepherd who leads, feeds and protects us.
So yes, God has brought me a fair way in my walk with Him. Every day is a new adventure. Every day His Spirit guides and directs the paths I take and fills me anew with His love and understanding.
Unfortunately I still wander off the path – Of course I do – BUT He is there ready to drag me back and make me the New Creation I know he has planned for my life.
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