Wednesday, April 30, 2008


“He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” ~Daniel 2:21

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” ~Philippians 4:11b-13

There is certainly something attractive about the weather in Papua New Guinea. From what we understand, it is pretty much 75-85 degrees all year long. About the only sense of “seasons” is that which differentiates rainy from dry. I have wondered sometimes, though, whether it would get tedious having the same weather day in and day out. Don’t get me wrong … I am not complaining. I mean, there are lots of other places that He could call us that would have worse conditions, or even other kinds of consistent year-round weather (Antarctica comes to mind). No, I will gladly take 80 degrees. I just wonder sometimes if I will ever miss or long for the changes that come with autumn, spring, and even winter.

According to the path of the sun, the barn swallows on our porch spend two seasons with us: spring and summer. However, I suppose, according to their internal clocks, it is simply the “breeding season.” Unfortunately for the birds, and for us who have grown to love and appreciate them, they lost three of their six little ones yesterday. As I left for work, I noticed three tiny, helpless babies on the concrete under the nest (it’s about a seven-foot drop). My husband gently placed the two who were still showing signs of life back into the nest. The other we placed in a box. We had no idea how long they had been there and it was about 48 degrees outside, so we knew their survival was not guaranteed. But, soon after he replaced them, Mama came and snuggled down over them as if to warm them up.

Later, however, we found them on the ground again, further away from the nest, lifeless. One was overcome with ants, but the other we placed with its sibling in the box and buried. While we have a couple of theories regarding what could have happened, none of them change the fact that Mama and Daddy went from being parents of six to parents of three (including the two who have not yet hatched) in a matter of moments. Like Angie and Todd, they have just entered a new season of life.

These and other situations have started me thinking recently what life would be like if we lived a “normal” 80-degrees-and-clear-skies kind of life all the time. On the up side, we might escape unpleasant things like:

· Fear

· Failure

· Loneliness

· Betrayal

· Rejection

· Loss

· Grief

But, on the down side, our lives would probably become characterized by:

· Boredom

· Routine

· Monotony

· Lack of motivation

· Lack of vision

· Lack of dreams

· Lack of spiritual vitality

I think even the most routine-seeking among us would soon tire of the monotony of emotional, psychological, spiritual sameness all of the time. God has not created us to remain stagnate, but with an appetite to evolve and change as persons. While on the surface the consistency might seem appealing, I think that the subconscious yearning for growth would eventually overwhelm us.

And if everything were the same all of the time, what would motivate us to do anything? We would have no vision and no sense of hope or desire. And even though our dreams would never be crushed, it would be only because we never had a craving to entertain any in the first place.

Yes, even lack of spiritual vitality. What possible need could I have for Almighty God in an 80-degrees-and-clear-skies-all-the-time kind of life? When things are comfortable and I have everything I need? If there has been one consistent outcome in every tragic or difficult situation I have witnessed or experienced, it is that God has been about the work of changing those involved to the extent that they are willing to experience His touch, even when it is at first painful, and surrender to His will, even when it doesn’t make sense.

I think I will actually enjoy, for the most part, the consistent physical weather of PNG. However, when it comes to the emotional, psychological, spiritual side of life, I’d rather continue following the hand of God through the seasons—the sunny summer days and the winter chills, the spring storms and the refreshing autumn breezes.

”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13


  1. Somehow, I have a feeling that the weather will be the only thing that is consistent on PNG! And even that might not be as "routine" as you think. The change from dry to rainy season can be quite dramatic!
    But you are right. Noah found Grace only after the flood came. The same is true for us.


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