Thursday, January 10, 2013


Recent weather has been spectacular during this usually cold month of January. Highs in the 20s and 30s, even 40s, and plenty of sunshine. I’m waiting for the boot to drop, uh, the thermometer to drop. We all face unpleasant weather, whether outside or internally. Life does bring its gloom, but by God’s grace we can choose to act positively, as if the sun is shining right through the gloom. Happy change-the-atmosphere-of-your-heart day.


Change the Atmosphere

One minute the sun is shining and family members wait on the patio for Dad to finish grilling the chicken. The next minute a dark cloud appears, causing everyone to wonder if the weather will halt their festivities.

Weather changes can affect our mood and emotional well-being faster than we can say, “Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day.” Rain can dampen our spirits as much as our skin.

We mid-Westerners learn, at least to some extent, to accept weather changes. We don’t have to be enslaved by the weather. We can always turn to Plan B. Those who find it hard to do so can count on a miserable life.

In some ways, our emotions are like the weather. We have our ups and downs, our cold and hot times, our stormy and calm times. Unlike the weather, we can choose to change the atmosphere of our emotions. We can decide to accept the sudden rain of events with joy, knowing it will help us grow even as plants grow when watered with rain.

Joyful acceptance of harsh weather isn’t the only way we can grow. We can take action. In a real storm, we tend to flee for cover. In an emotional storm, we can make other choices. We can soothe someone’s anger with a prayer, a hug, and a kind word, rather than with an offensive, selfish word. We can take steps to fulfill a God-given dream rather than listen to someone’s scoffing words about it. We can stand strong in the face of evil rather than run away in fear.

Unlike the weather, the atmosphere of our hearts can be changed by decisive action. Too often we let our moods control our thoughts, words, and actions. I’ve read that when we fail to fulfill our purposes in life by putting off necessary action—whether to change jobs, heal a relationship, or help someone in need—we become fatigued. Like a blown-up balloon, our energy begins to develop a slow leak.

When Jesus healed people, He often told them to change the atmosphere. He told the lame man, “Take up your bed and walk,” rather than remain in a hopeless state. He told the man with the withered hand to stretch it out even as it hung useless. He would have us act, also. “…The Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed.”

Lord, keep us from fear and insecurity, from lacking in faith, so we can take positive action to fulfill Your purposes in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mrs. Bair may be reached at

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