Monday, November 17, 2008

Refining Fire

Seattle, Washington
Volume 3, Issue 26
November 17, 2008

-Refining Fire-
…seasons of change…

Today I am 30 years old. Wow. How did that happen? In many ways I feel my life is just getting started.

The past few days I spent at the Global Health Missions Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. It was awesome. A wonderful time of Christians gathering together to inspire, encourage, and challenge. A slew of health care professionals whom desire to serve others, but first and foremost seek to serve the Lord. It was a blessing to be hosted by the Hamilton family from Louisville, a gracious family of six who no doubt seek to serve the Lord in all they do.

Three times in the past few days the theme of seasons has come up in my life, each time referring to my current position in life as spring, summer, autumn, or winter. Though I wish I could say I am in a time of joy, warmth, growth, flourishing, and fun – summer is not my current season. Neither or spring or fall. Instead, I am feeling cold, lonely, barren, chilled to the bone, and generally wanting this season to end. Despite the short days of sun and encroaching hours of darkness, I know that spring and summer are on their way. I wait with eager anticipation.

The Lord is doing a mighty work in me; that much is clear. I know I need to be refined. My impurities are many, and I desire to be pure, even though the process is painful at times. I want to live for the Lord. I want to commit my life to him. I need continued maturation. Even though I am 30 years old physically, I feel my soul is the equivalent of a little child. I have so much to learn and so much growing yet to do. I am excited to see the final outcome, though the impatience in me wants to speed up the process.

Lord, even though I often don’t understand you and the work you are doing in my life, I don’t doubt your ways. I trust you. I know I need you. I love you. May my vision and faith in you never waiver, no matter how intense the refining fire.

Every Season

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring
-Nichole Nordeman


Kim said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We should try and connect again soon.

Beth said...

Scott, you were very sly not to let on just how soon you were turning 30. You know the kids would not have let you go without candles, cake, and singing if they had known.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! I was so surprised when I got to the end of your post and found "Every Season" there! It's one of those rare 'under the radar' pieces I think, that captures the mystery and glory of God in recreation...I can't listen to it without tears welling up. It was very dear to me in a previous season of questions and longing in seminary. I'm praying that His presence will be all the sweeter for you in this part of your journey. What's your time-line/plan as far as East Africa goes?

Stephanie Jilcott said...

Happy Birthday from Eastern NC! I hope your day was great:)

Some of my friends went to that Kentucky conference and really enjoyed it.