The 2nd Hottest Summer

To say it’s been a hot summer in Texas is like saying it’s a bit chilly in Siberia. It’s been HOT!  In fact, by the numbers it has been the second hottest summer on record. (I lived here through the first hottest as well, in 1980.) We’ve had 68 days where the high reached the 100 degree mark or above–40 of those coming on consecutive days. But another statistic I found about this summer really summed up the heat. In the past 115 years of keeping temperature records in our area, only once has our highest low temperature been 85 degrees. (Read that again. 85 degrees as the low for the day.) Once until 2011, that is. We hit that 85 degrees or higher as our low mark on nine  days this summer. The hot was hot and didn’t abate when the sun went down.

So where am I going with this? Of course I’m going to the God who shows us spiritual truth so often through the natural world.

On September 3, I woke up and made my usual trek to the coffee machine. I noticed my husband outside in a chair on the deck. I opened the door to ask him why he was out there, but my breath caught in my chest before I could utter a word.

He looked up at me. “75 degrees. Isn’t it wonderful?”

My coffee and I joined him outside. As if that weren’t enough, the following morning was so cool (68 degrees with a brisk wind) that I had to put on my lightweight sweatpants and wrap a blanket around my shoulders in order to sit outside with my coffee.

As I thought about this summer, it has reminded me again of how God often works in our lives. We walk through scorching hot trials, where the sweat rolls and the heat refuses to back off even in what ought to be the cool of night. Day after day after day with no respite. We begin to believe that life will forever be marked with hot. Cool— autumn— will never again appear. We will live from one 100 degree day to another, with no end in sight. We convince ourselves we simply have to learn to endure the heat, and we soldier on, determined yet wishing we could remember what it felt like to be cold.

Then one day, the door of our lives opens to a fresh breeze that whispers cool across our skin. In the blink of an eye, when we’d quit watching for the end, life changes. The fire of trial dies down, perhaps not retreating to nothingness, but at least no longer alive with blazing intensity. We lift our faces to heaven and understand once again that He hasn’t left us to wither in an unrelenting sun.

So that’s what I learned this summer. How about you?

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Today I’m over at my friend Jen AlLee’s blog. Come join in the conversation!