"An Inside Perspective"

September 2003


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
It is September and I am always amazed at how, on Labor Day, the Lord changes the weather as if flipping a switch. We taste the first fruits of the cool crisp nights of autumn, seasoned with the flavors of fall. As we look up and before we know it, the geese are flying south, even as God illustratively paints His collage of grace in the colors of the leaves.

I am reminded of my high school days. I grew up, from the age of thirteen, three houses from the beach. In the morning, when I awoke, I first checked out the condition of the waves from my bathroom window. I was consumed with the surfing and its lifestyle, it owned my heart. I ate drank, and slept surfing.

It was through surfing and its relation to the weather that I discovered my love for meteorology, the study of weather. As with all of God’s creation, the weather operates according to laws. Surfing and the weather go hand-in-hand in the sense that the condition of the surf is dependent on weather patterns. For instance, a low pressure system produces storms that then result in swells, which in turn, cause the waves that you see breaking on the beach. The size of the low pressure determines the height of the swell. Waves although, are measured from the back, so that a six-foot swell, measured from the back, will, in reality, have a twelve-foot face on which the surfer can ride. On top of that, the quality of those waves is completely dependent on the speed and direction of the wind as they break. The wind gives the waves their form. If the wind is “on-store,” that means it is blowing from the ocean, toward the land. The waves are then said, in the surfer lingo, to be “mush-burger.” On the contrary, if the wind is “off-shore,” it means that the waves are crisp and clean with good form, and therefore, very surfable. When all the right conditions come together, at one time, the waves are said to be “SMOKING.”

I still, in my heart, desire to surf and lord willing one day I may. During the hurricane season I love to follow the storm tracks, thus, always knowing where and who is getting the best waves.

Now, you may be asking your self, “Why is Brother Philip giving me a surf lesson?” Well, I recently listened to the weather report and I observed that at the exact same time as a hurricane was devasting the island of Bermuda, we here in Trenton, were forecast a sunny, seventy-five degree day, with a light breeze.

It dawned on me, that while Bermuda was swamped with the storm of their lives, I was having beautiful weather. I thought, what a wonderful illustration of how we experience storms in our own Christian lives while, at the same time exact time, my brother or sister may be having a sunny seventy-five degree day, with a light breeze! It speaks to me of how deeply I need my brothers and sisters in the Body and how dependent we are on one another. It is written, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

I need to be continually cognizant of this principle. I must daily have an ear to hear and to be patiently long-suffering with others. I have to remind myself that, at the exact same time, my sunshine may indeed be their hurricane. As in surfing, the condition of our daily walk depends on which way the winds are blowing. The “on-shore” winds of compromise will cause us to have a “mush-burger” walk before the Lord. On the contrary, the “off-shore” winds of holiness, prayer, and Bible study cause a crisp clean walk, with good form, fruitful in every good work.

Storms are allowed by God, even ordained, to the end of shaping our character and improving our walk by the deepening of our roots in him. Nothing makes us seek refuge in him quicker than a storm, right? It is written, “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in His excellency on the sky. The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…”

I am reminded, that in the center of every storm, there is an eye. The eye is calm and sunny, even, as the storm rages all around it. Christ is the Eye in our storms as we look to Him in faith. It is written, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”

During our sunny, seventy-five degree days, as the light breezes are blowing, let us remember to point others, who are in the midst of their storms, to our risen Christ. It is written, “These things I have spoken unto you that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation [spiritual hurricanes]: but bu of good cheer: I have overcome the world [I Am the Eye].”

“Is Your Walk “SMOKING?”

Joyfully in Jesus,
Love Phillip

"Remember Those In Prison, As if Chained to Them."