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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

Parson to Person: We just have to wait for it to break

By JEFF MCPHERON, Trenton United Methodist Church | Sep 13, 2013

In some places the weather does not change much—think “sunny San Diego” or “foggy London.” Of course, that is not to say that it never rains in San Diego or that there are no sunny days in London. Those places may have less variation in weather patterns than, well, Iowa, for example.

Having grown up in Iowa, I had not heard the saying that if a person did not like the weather at the moment, it could be expected to change in a few minutes. We understood from the beginning that there were weather differences, and often weather extremes, but because we simply lived it, we didn’t think much about it. Sometimes being exposed to different scenery or a different weather pattern enables us to make a comparison. Perhaps the saying is traceable to someone who came from an area with what Iowans might call a “boring” weather pattern.

Thinking of the recent heat wave, I was reminded of a verse from the Psalms about the effect of sustained and intense heat on human activities. The second half of Psalm 32:4 reads, “my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” Regardless of the season, anyone who has tried to do something that takes a lot of energy on a very warm day can understand immediately the Psalmist’s expression. Been there, done that!

But the Psalmist was not talking about trying to do chores on a very warm day, having a will but no energy. The Psalmist compared the spiritual burden of having unconfessed sins to the warm day lack of energy feeling. Even though one is physical and the other mental, the two feel almost the same.

The writer anticipates a return to normal activity when the weather changes. The writer was carrying a mental burden from unconfessed sins, and anticipates the relief that comes from confession. Anyone who has carried a mental burden knows that its effects are similar to physical burdens. It is a weight that we are not designed to carry.

Later the Psalmist expressed relief in 118:34: The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

When the weather is very warm, we can move slower until it breaks. But when we have a mental burden, we should move faster to throw it off. If not, we waste precious energy lugging dead weight. We throw off such a burden by recognizing it, admitting it nd confessing it.

When the heat of summer comes, we have to wait for it to break. This is Iowa. It will break, sooner or later. When it comes to the burden of unconfessed sin, let’s change the weather, right away!

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