“It is what it is”

The Lord God Almighty is the master of surprise.  Just when we begin to think we have Him figured out, He throws us a curve ball.

I don’t mean that He ever acts out of His character.  Scripture is clear that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  But God’s Word also clearly shows Jesus changing who He saw, changing the way He healed people, changing where He went, etc.  He seems to want to keep us on our toes, always wondering about Him, as we should.  He’s not predictably mechanical.  He is deeply personal.  He is the Lord.  So we’re not to resign ourselves to a fixed idea of who He is.  We are to accept however He reveals His good will:  through blessings, disciplines, waiting, strengthening, and surprises.

Consider some of the following ways the Lord threw a curve ball to His followers and how those sudden changes changed His true disciples for the better.

  • In Matthew 6, Jesus referenced and even quoted the Mosaic Law several times and then superseded it by saying, “but truly, truly, I say to you…”  How did His followers respond to Jesus’ sermon on the mount?
  • In Matthew 23, Jesus railed against the Pharisees whom most of the people respected or feared because of their position of authority.  How was Jesus’ authority seen after talking to them in this way?
  • In Luke 7:34, the religious leaders accused Him of being “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”  What had the Lord done to receive such an accusation?  How did others see Him?
  • In John 4:4, we read that Jesus “had to pass through Samaria”.  Yet, most Jews went out of their way to avoid Samaria because of its long history of mixing with foreign nations and their gods.  The Lord also went out of way to talk with a woman, which the Rabbis of His day would not have done.  What were some of the impacts on His followers?


Now consider this week’s article.


What’s the difference between the meteorological and astronomical spring?

“It is what it is…isn’t it?”, by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (14 March 2017)

Here in Maryland, it’s been in the 70s several times already.  But a blizzard may be more likely than flowers on the first day of spring.  To be fair, there are actually two ways to mark the beginning of spring:  1 March (meteorological spring) based on annual temperature cycles and the Gregorian calendar and on or about 21 March (astronomical spring) in the northern hemisphere based on the vernal equinox when the earth has zero tilt in relation to the sun.

Either way, we might want and even expect warmer weather, but “Spring is a transition,’” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel. “As we come out of the cold winter toward the warm summer – it’s all based off the sun angle, which depends on the Earth’s orbit.”  No matter which start you observe, when it comes “it is what it is.” (http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/whats-the-difference-between-meteorological-and-astronomical-spring/70000979)  That’s what we say when resigning ourselves to a disappointment, right?

Accepting a disappointment doesn’t mean we have to quit, though.  Like the start of spring, there are too many variables in most of life’s events to oversimplify our anticipation of a specific outcome or our response to it.  Sure, what’s finally here just is what it is.  But there are a host of ways to respond.

Of course, I’m talking about much more than the weather this week or next.  Still, the chilling turn in the weather is a timely reminder of how quickly any disappointment can freeze our creative juices.

Instead of resigning ourselves to weather life and shutting down, we can leverage life’s sudden changes for sudden simple joys.  Consider some ways we can turn life’s lemons into lemonade.

  • In today’s busy and isolated world, many of us have neighbors we’ve hardly met. If you get snowed in, get to know some of those strangers shoveling their driveways.  You might make a new friend.
  • If your power goes out, pull out your flashlights or candles and share funny stories or memories together. Get to know each other again.  You’ll remember those times more fondly than any movie.
  • Bundle up and go outside. Notice how a blanket of snow can make even a dirty or dead patch of ground look crisp and clean.  It can even insulate the neighborhood from many sounds.  Very cool.
  • If it’s too slick to drive, you’ll have extra time. Cook a simple meal together, something that’s easy enough for everyone to get involved, have fun, and succeed at their part.  Pizza is usually a winner.
  • Pull out a deck of cards, a board game, dominos, or write your own scenes for charades. Family and friends that laugh together, stay together.  Just be mindful to avoid being overly competitive.
  • Identify relatively simple ways to help a family member or friend, initiate that help, don’t call attention to yourself, and don’t expect thanks. They might not say “thank you”, but they will see your love.
  • If it’s not too slick to walk or drive, invite another family or friend over to play games, share hot tea, or just talk. They probably have some cabin fever, too, but it can be nice to visit a neighbor’s cabin.

All of these are simple, but we’re less likely to do any of them until life throws us a curve ball forcing to think outside the box.  Whatever the weather is this week, make lemonade.  Even if it’s ice cold.


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