The world is currently experiencing a great storm; Covid-19 has not brought down a single house but it has flooded our land with fear and drenched our day to day lives with its threat.
This is the overarching climate surrounding us all.
However, our micro-climate, our personal climate may be a little more nuanced – it may not be that we are living so much within a storm as in a climate of clouds with sunny spells or perhaps it is sunny spells with light wind and occasional rain. The variations are many.
It is sometimes said that there is no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes for the weather we find ourselves in. If you are in the sunshine, you may need sunglasses. If you are in the rain, an umbrella might be handy. If the storm is truly raging, you may need shelter. If it is cold, you may need a coat and possibly a hot water bottle. If it dark, you may need light.
God’s Word can be the equipment we need for the weather that surrounds us at any one time. It offers us words of praise for the sunny moments, words of comfort for the cold ones, words of hope for the darkest storms, words of peace so you can find the eye of the hurricane and take rest, words of guidance to show the way in the foggiest places and so on.
As we draw near to God, the climate can even change.
The invitation is to sit with the palms of your hands pressed together in a traditional position of prayer; hands that are closed tight together. Now slowly starting with your thumbs ease your thumbs apart but hold the rest of your fingers still together – can you feel how unless you exert an effort to keep the other fingers tightly pressed against each other a gap will appear in the palm of your hands as well. Into that crack of darkness, light will begin to penetrate. Now very slowly allow your index fingers to separate and watch again as your palms naturally want to pull away and create a space. Move on to your middle fingers, how hard now to hold the ring finger and your little finger together at all without concentration and effort. Now gradually release your ring fingers and let your hands open into the shape of a bowl, joined only along your small fingers, open to receive, open in a position of exposed vulnerability and neediness, open to receive light, grace, and the love God pours out to us.
Sit like this for a couple of minutes if you can.
Now start again. Close your hands together and imagine that these hands represent your deepest self closed to the touch of God and His light, grace and love. Even if you feel you are always open to God, as you gradually open your hands, finger by finger, see yourself once again opening up in vulnerability and need to all that God would pour into you. You are gradually creating a space within where God can dwell, where He can minister to you,
where he can fill you with His light, His love and the assurance that you are beloved. This movement of your hands is just a picture, a symbol of the movement within.
Again, when your hands are open into the shape of a bowl, sit like this at peace in God’s presence for up to 5 minutes or for as long as you comfortably can.
If you find this hard, or if there are points of tension then take your time, this is an invitation. Simply be where you are and ask God to be there with you, even a little light transforms the deepest darkness. Our lives are a journey of learning that we can trust the one who invites us to open up and hollow out, to receive all we most deeply need from him.
He is gentle, kind, loving and merciful - there is great fullness and joy the more we open up to him but it is with faith the size of a mustard seed that He will willingly begin. This is after all God’s work in us, His desire for us from the first moment we were conceived calling us to Him, inviting us to respond to His perfect love that transcends all others and is the gift of His Spirit.
God invites us to open our hearts to him
I open my heart to you.
You are invited to go to this link and to spend some time contemplating the weather symbols and the 32 different weather descriptions.
The questions as you contemplate these symbols and descriptions are –
· What is your personal micro-climate at the moment?
· How would you describe the world climate given the descriptions offered?
· What are the challenges of these weather patterns?
Don’t hurry. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and to help you understand what you are living through.
Below I have suggested some scriptures which might be helpful for different weather conditions. Choose the “equipment” you feel corresponds best to your current climate and meditate on one of the suggested scriptures. Allow them to speak to your heart and to minister to you.
You might also like to use one of these scriptures to frame a prayer for the wider world at this time.
If you have favourite bible passages that you feel would fall under these or other appropriate headings and fit your current personal climate, you might want to meditate on one of those.
Sunglasses: Psalm 100; Psalm 92: 1-5
Water Bottles: John 4:13 & 14; Jeremiah 17: 7 & 8
Umbrellas: John 15: 18 & 19; John 14: 1; Psalm 20
Windbreaks: Mark 4: 35-41; Psalm 62: 1 & 2; Ephesians 6: 10 -11
Hot Water Bottles: Romans 8: 37 -39; 1 John 3: 1a
Lighthouses: Isaiah 60:19; Proverbs 3: 5 & 6; Ezekiel 34: 11 & 12; Micah 6:8
Sandbags: Isaiah 43: 1 -3a; Psalm 18: 1 & 2 and 16-19
Take some time to consider what your reflections have revealed for you; how the Holy Spirit may be stirring in you and ministering to you. Bring this response to God in a further time of prayer – asking for what grace you may need, giving thanks for what you may have received.