by Pastor Tim Burt
Renee and I just came back from Vacation. We weren't expecting to go right at this time, but good friends made an offer on we could not refuse. They offered to let us use their Florida condo by the beach and it was a Godsend for us. So we rearranged our schedule and took an early vacation.
Minnesota winters are usually long, cold, and snowy. By the time March comes along, we are more than ready to get on to Spring weather. Just about the time we were packing to leave for Florida, the weather here turned unseasonably warm—mid 60's and 70's. We almost didn't want to leave, but of course we did. The good news, or so we thought, was that we'd come home to no snow, wonderful warm Spring temperatures, and budding trees. Well the snow was gone, but the rest turned out to be slightly delusional thinking. We returned to cold Minnesota weather. And then, last night we were the benefactors of an evening snowfall. My attitude was less than stellar—should we say stinky? I could feel the Lord challenging me to change it as my attitude was growing worse. Psalms 119:133 (NKJV) says, "Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me." The Lord wanted to redirect my sourpuss attitude before it began to dominate me and affect other areas of my life.
So, I decided to go outside about 10 p.m. and shovel snow and get a head-start on my driveway before morning. The snow was still falling lightly. It was around 30 degrees—almost tropical for Minnesotans, and no wind or breeze. It was actually a picture perfect snowy night! It was so beautiful that when I had finished shoveling, I couldn't go back in the house. It was too pretty of a night. I went to our backyard that has a creek running through it and brushed the snow off the chair I have along the creek. I sat down to take in just how beautiful this fresh snowfall was! What I was looking at was like an amazing picture! I pulled out my phone to snap a few pictures.
I then went into the house to plead with Renee to get out of her pajamas, put some clothes back on, and come outside. It was too beautiful to pass up. She said she'd think about it and showed up a couple of minutes later. We were both mesmerized by how beautiful it was outside—like a winter wonderland! We snapped a selfie and then enjoyed the beauty of the evening snowfall.
We finally came in and I found myself thankful again for the millionth time for the Lord correcting my attitude, and for helping me by His grace, to take an action step to do so! I could have gone through the night with a sour attitude over the weather, missing one of the most beautiful winter evenings I could ever remember.
I had the thought later on, Life is anything but predictable when you walk with the Lord. It is the unpredictable that often sends our attitude into a tailspin. We all carry around unspoken expectations within our heart, of how we want things to turn out. What we forget is that the Lord says that He'll do "... exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or think" in our life (Ephesian 3:20) If what God does is beyond what we ask or think, then we better expect unpredictable things to happen and keep a right perspective upon their arrival!
When you let Him speak into your heart and life, He'll direct you, He'll correct you, and He'll lead you along paths that you could not see coming—things that result in amazing blessing. That is actually a benefit of having an intimate relationship with the Lord. He will lead you to better places! Jeremiah 10:23 (NLT) says, "I know Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course."
Any of us can, and probably all of us do have stinky attitudes at times. We know it isn't right. But, it's in that moment we can make a decision. Are we going to let the attitude have dominion over us? Or are we going to let the Lord help lead us into a better perspective that will ultimately bless us?
Sometimes we are great at making a plan, and other times our attitudes reveal that either our plan or attitude is not good. God is able to fix either or, or both! We just have to lean on Him to get there!
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt