Over the years we have experienced temperatures during the day as high as 43 degrees in the middle of summer and nights of -2 degrees in the middle of winter. We have experienced annual rainfall touching 70mm and last year we had rainfall reach 770mm (2nd highest yield recorded).
Only last week we had temperatures during the day reach the mid 30s and the nights the low 20s. This week the daily temperatures are mid 20s and the nights are below 10.
The area surrounding Alice Springs was dry, desolate, sandy and rocky when we first arrived here 3 years ago. Now it is relatively lush and green, full of animal and bird life. A local tour guide remarked to me that there are plants flowering and "in season" for only the second time since settlement in this region, and native species will flourish. Cattle numbers on local properties will double or triple over the next year.
The unpredictability and fluctuations in the climate patterns and weather in my time in the outback have made me examine my life and where I have been and gone, and made me also consider where I am going.
I as myself, how are the weather patterns in my own life? How are the weather patterns in my life with God?
I have been a Christian for just over 20 years and I often reflect on the many fluctuations in my "temperature" and personal "climate". How I would love to remark that on this incredible 20 year journey with God, all I have experienced is a life full of lushness, exuberance and breathtaking "highs".
Sadly, it has not always been the case. There are moments in my life where I have been desolate and dry. I have been frosty to my friends and to my family. I have had my temperature soar to levels I later reflected could have caused untold damage to my marriage. I have also had times of disappointment and anger; times of frustration and disillusionment; times of doubt and insecurity.
I have experienced touches from God that have made me fall to my knees and weep in the lap of the creator. I have had His loving arms surround me in such a way I dare not move for fear of losing His presence. I have raised my arms to the heavens in adoring worship of Him. I have prayed with and for people and seen their lives dramatically changed in an instant. I have laughed with incredible joy and excitement as I have felt His touch of love in my life.
When I am thriving and full of life, He is there. When I am dry and desolate, He is there. There is only one "environment" that has changed through all these life moments- mine. God hasn't changed and He never will.
That is a sobering and comforting thought. Peter declared on the Day of Pentecost, "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear" (Acts 2:32-33).
He is seated on His throne regardless of circumstances in the natural environment or the circumstances in my environment.
Crowded House sang "Everywhere you go; you always take the weather with you". My weather patterns slowly, but surely, are being influenced and changed by God's hand in my life. I want the world to see me as authentic and real, but I also want them to see Him.
The days of dryness and desolation will decrease, and I pray for those around me to see the vibrancy, lushness and vitality that a relationship with the Lord establishes in an "environment" willing to hand over its "climate" to Him.