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The Birds Still Sing

Ohio weather is completely bizarre.

We're living in late-February and the weather cannot make up its mind. I'm writing this looking out my kitchen window to an overcast sky and a 60-degree breeze. A hair dreary, but completely pleasant nevertheless. I want to put my winter coat away, but I know I shouldn't because of yesterday morning's 32 degrees.

In a particularly-jarring series of events last week, one day gave us a high temperature of 65 degrees or so; it felt like spring and the birds were chirping loudly. The next day? Barely 30 degrees and completely wintery. The birds were nowhere to be heard.

I never saw them to begin with, but I knew they were gone. Have you ever felt that God was like that in your life? One day, he's lighting up every room you're in and you're awed by how good he is. The next day, he's completely silent and, even worse, seems missing-in-action from your life.

Some of you may have been experiencing what feels like an absence of God in your life for months, years, even decades. You feel you must be too unimportant or too sinful for God's attention and care.

The truth, however, is far more hopeful: spring is coming.

To quote writer Christina Patterson, "Though God is sometimes silent, he is never absent."

The Psalmist puts it this way: "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42:11, NIV throughout)

If you're in Christ, Jesus has not merely saved you to a life of blandness and tortured pain, but rather to everlasting life. The pain of this life is not evidence of God forgetting about you or leaving you alone. To a disciple of Christ, it's proof that God is crafting you into His image, even within the brokenness and sin of this world.

He is active in your life right now. Even though you don't hear him or see him, he is there, loving you and working in you to make you better than you'd ever be otherwise. Scripture talks about the notion that we need to follow Jesus through the path of the cross to receive his resurrection. (Galatians 2)

What does this mean for us today? We have, in Jesus, paradoxical hope through the struggles and suffering of this life."Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

The day after the birds went silent, God brought 60-degree weather to Fairfield, Ohio once again. The birds were singing again. If he cares for them through the cold weather, he definitely will care for you through your pain.

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