Before our family moved from California to Tennessee, I looked up their weather, a lot. You can’t imagine how many people warned me, “You’re going to hate the heat there. Ugh, humidity. I hear there are tornadoes and flooding. The winters are brutally cold.” Many of these same folks had never even stepped foot on Tennessee soil.
Still, I heeded their warnings. I wanted to be prepared for this new state. So, I read The Tennessean, their Nashville paper each night before going to bed. I watched for a whole year and tracked the difference between the mild weather in California and fluctuating seasons in Tennessee.
Nothing prepared me for being here. I’ve become an official card-carrying weather-junky. It’s been surprisingly one of my favorite things about our move. The weather here is unpredictable and that brings an element of excitement I’d never experienced before. Being from such a gentle Mediterranean climate pampered me without even knowing it. Here I witness God’s seasons in such incredible ways. Fall, of course, being my favorite. I like to tell people, “It’s like autumn on steroids.” Every season is like this here – BIGGER and so much more AWE inspiring. It’s truly incredible.
Paul and I spend so much time looking up at the sky and smiling at colors and cloud formations we’ve never seen before, or stepping outside when gusts and gales of wind break out for no reason. We’re like children with our arms open wide, laughing at the joy of being gently pushed by powerful blasts.
Summer thunderstorms are my absolute favorite and the humidity isn’t even close to the tortuous hell I’d been warned about. Tornadoes are as rare as a BIG earthquake hitting Sacramento. Seeing the mist on the Smokey Mountains took my breath away, while Spring here surprised me with flowers in fluorescent blues and greens and brought bright red cardinals I’d never seen before dancing from tree to tree.
I know these dear friends meant well with their warnings. Still, I’d spent so much time preparing for this weather, reading about this weather, thinking about this weather and yes, even fearing this weather, it never occurred to me it would be one of the greatest gifts God has given me here.
It reminds me of how, as Christians, we read the stories of the great saints before us; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Gideon and the likes, while comfy in our easy chairs, sipping our coffee in our spiritual weather of Mediterranean mediocrity, while wrongfully thinking, That kind of faith is much too scary. or Those adventures were for them, for those days. Or, I could never do that.
Friends, don’t miss out on the glorious adventure that beckons you today. Open the door wide and step out into the tempest. Those adventures we not only for them for then. Don’t allow others warnings to halt your forward steps. His story unfolds with each breath we take. Brave the gales and gusts and laugh at what a change in your “spiritual” atmosphere may bring. Maybe it’s time to take that step out into the unknown and change your scenery a bit? No matter where you step – He is already there.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 3:18