Beyond One Gray Winter

1Sam 16v7Icy raindrops drummed down as I tip-toed around puddles on the moss-covered path.  Everything looked a little sad in the fading dusk light.  There was a feel of despair and oppression.

If you came to visit today you could assume things about this place.  That living here is hard.  That it’s wet and cold and dark.  That the people cave away in their homes and work, like ark-dwellers.  That it’s a gray metropolis of loneliness.  That there is no joy or life or fun. That the gray dominates and controls.

But you’d be wrong.

This is simply a season.  Despite what you’d see today, this city is a glorious Summer host.  A place of utter beauty and warmth.  Of creativity and innovation.  Of love and life.

_ _ _

We sipped coffee and chatted about old times. We remembered and smiled and mused.   Then my dear old friend said something that arrested my mind and heart.

“You only knew me in a dark season. That’s not who I am.”

Oh. I don’t know him. And he doesn’t know me. Our friendship is based on a single season. Like one gray Winter. We only know a small part. Of the past.

_ _ _

I am not who I was yesterday. Something happened this morning that affected me deeply. And I grew. I changed.  Like the frozen earth changes as new shoots push up in the Spring. Subtle but striking.  Green and alive. Something new is growing in my heart.

I am not who I was last month. I am not who I was last season. I am not who I was last year. I am not who I was.

I know this.  We all know this.

But until that coffee chat with my friend, I did not consider the cost of growth and change.  I am reeling.  I am sad.  To know a human is an impossible quest.  Just when we do, something changes.

As the rain drizzles down today, I hear the Holy Spirit beckoning me again. With the Holy Spirit there is Life. Without Him there is not.  I have been leaning on my laurels. I have been relying on my perceptions, my experiences, my assumptions.  But it’s all outdated information.  There is no Life in that place.

Oh friends. How can we truly know each other when our abilities to know each other are so limited?  We need… I need… the Holy Spirit.

This is the fourth time in less than a week that  He’s stirred my heart to be seeking Him more.  To seek Him for direction.  To seek Him for ministry focus. To seek Him for wisdom in conversations.  And now, to seek Him for full and deep relationships.

Four times you’ve spoken this to my heart.  You’ve got my attention God.  Help me to walk in Your wisdom and Life.  Help me to hear you clearly Holy Spirit.  Prepare me. Test me. Refine me. Help me get it.

Boy I hope I learn this the easy way.  I have a sense of fear… to tread carefully… to walk humbly before the Lord.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Have no regard for his appearance or stature… God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the LORD sees into the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7 CEB)

What do you think?