I sure hope Florence and her Machine know what they're talking about. Anyone else feel stagnant? Lethargic? I'm blaming it on the "dog days."
Typically, we reserve that title for the sultry, uncomfortably warm days from early July to sometime in September...well, at least in the part of the US in which I currently live. But, the term also lends itself to "a period marked by inactivity."
I'm going to go with two thoughts here today. And trust me...they're hot.
First, I have been doggin' it this summer. Or, maybe - more appropriately - "dodgin''" it. Allowing anything uncomfortable to often deter me from doing what I need to be doing. From being productive. Definitely inactive. A couple of summers ago, God allowed skunks to take residence under my house to remind me of all of the things we become distracted by in life. So, you'd think I would remember that stench...and know better.
We are so "feelings-driven." "I don't feel like doing it." "I don't like that." "I don't love them." "I'm too angry to forgive." "I'm too hurt to move on." "I'm too tired to do the laundry." (I use that last one a lot.) And tired is not just an emotion...I am aware it can absolutely be a physical state. But, still...
Darned emotions. Dirty dogs. Grrr.
Second, I hate the heat. Physically and spiritually. Even though I grew up and have lived in more than one geographical location where temps and humidity often soar...I hate it. When people talk beaches...I chime in about how much I love them. But, not the kind most adore. I wistfully long for a beach on the Oregon Coast with its gray skies and cold waves crashing up against the rocks. Me on a blanket, wearing a fleece jacket...sipping on cocoa. I've tried to talk my husband into moving to Alaska on more than one occasion during our 26 years together. I'm that girl.
Anyway...I also dislike spiritual heat. I mean, we all hate the thought of hell...but, that's not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the heat that refines us. The heat that causes the impurities to rise to the top.
As much as it makes me want to stop...be lethargic...take a nap...as much as it makes me uncomfortable...I need the heat. The "dog days" are the proving ground of my faith.
God uses heat - or fire - to speak to His people all throughout the Old Testament. For real. Here's just one example:
"You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire." Deuteronomy 4:35-36.
God uses heat - or fire - to speak to His people in the New Testament. Here's just one example:
"If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward." I Corinthians 3:12-14.
Wow. That's like the perfect Dog Days' verse. The "day" will bring it to light...the fire will reveal...the quality of each person's work. What I really believe. How strong my faith in Christ truly is. And survival equals reward.
And the the biggest hope in these warm days...
"But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:' Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God,'" Isaiah 43:1-3
It gets uncomfortable at times. A little heated. But, He is with us.
And if we trust that He is...when these doggish days are over...we will shine. Who knows? Maybe others will see us shining just a little bit, right in the middle of 'em.