Yesterday, a patient entered our office declaring, "It's so hot outside." Hmmmm… It's January in New Jersey, how can it be considered "hot"?? Well, at 55 degrees, it was sweltering and came close to setting a record.
But the same 55 degrees in August would be considered frigid.
Now today it's down to 35 degrees, a cold snap compared to yesterday, but compared to the 10 degree temperatures we suffered in December, today’s 35 degrees would be considered downright balmy.
This thing is - 55 degrees is 55 degrees.
If it's been cold, 55 feels like a heat wave, but if it's been warm, 55 feels chilly.
It only seems to be cold or warm because of our feelings. The temperature is what it is, but we respond to it differently based upon how we feel at any given moment.
And our feelings are subjective. They are influenced by people around us, circumstances that we can or cannot control, health issues, the slow driver in front of us, the pants that no longer zipper up, the song that reminds us of something we want to forget, hormones (or as Beth Moore says "haaar-mones, ladies").
How we feel about something doesn’t necessarily reveal the truth of a matter.
One day, my husband can ask, “Are you ready?” and I’ll say, “Just a minute, hon, gotta grab my bag.”
And another day, same question, same 3 words, but I’ll bite his head off. “What do you mean - am I ready? Who do you think you are anyway, the time-dictator? You’re always criticizing how long it takes me to do things. You don’t always have to wait for me. Sometimes, I’m ready on time. Do you think I try to make you wait? This is how long it takes me to get ready, so just hold your horses. Now I gotta grab my tissues and makeup. You made me cry. Thanks a lot.”
Same question. Two different responses depending on how I was feeling.
Our feelings change like the weather, up and down. (Sometimes even because of the weather, right?) And how we feel changes how we perceive things.
But there is something that never changes.
He is who He is - unchanging, fixed, the same yesterday, today and forever. Our temperature may change, but His truth remains the same.
When we are upset or depressed, we must evaluate our feelings against the barometer of God’s Word. What is really the truth? How I feel? Or what God says?
True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. In fact, true peace is found in spite of them. (Philippians 4:6,7)
And speaking of personal climate change, Ron Hutchcraft wrote a wonderful story about how our temperature affects those around us.
It's easy to complain about how things are in your family, or how they are at work or how they are at church or at school. But complaining won't change a thing. Neither will condemning or criticizing or preaching. What is needed where you are is someone who will be what they wish others would be - to lead by contagious example. To step out from a climate that is negative or nasty or stressed or prideful or selfish, and to challenge it, not by their words, but by their actions. Decide how you wish everyone would be in your situation, and then start being it yourself!
Over time, one person can have amazing power to change the atmosphere and to improve the climate. In the places God has put you, why don't you be the one who quietly leads everyone else to something better? Don't wait for someone else to change. You have the power to start changing the climate in your personal world.
How can you be a climate-changer? What would it take?