It is October in San Diego, so of course, that means we should expect triple-digit temperatures. While the rest of the country is dusting off the flannel and sipping Pumpkin Spiced Lattes by the fire, we live through the scorching Santa Ana winds and whatever mess they blow in.
When the heat turns up it is vital that you stay in the shade! Sound logical right, flee the oppression of the sun by blocking it with something that protects you. So that is what we do. Either huddled inside our air-conditioned homes or hidden in a shady corner of paradise we take it easy in the shade.
This is not at all unlike the life of the Christian and I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to stay in the “shade” of Christ’s finished work. It really is the only place of refreshment and safety. It is also the only place of growth and experiencing the life you were meant to live!
It can be hard for some of us. When the “heat” of life seems cranked a bit high, we imagine we have to conquer in our own strength and labor under the scorching rays. Instead of getting ahead we just end up sweaty and dehydrated spiritually. We tune into voices that suggest better ways to be cool but each one pushes further into the inferno.
Then like a cool drink of water comes the truth that we are saved from the wrath of God for our sin not by our own ability to get things right but by Christ’s perfect life, innocent life, and beautiful death-crushing resurrection. What’s more, this is the same way we are sanctified (transformed to be more like Jesus), by the truth of his gospel relentlessly applied to our lives, every nook and cranny. Saved by the shade of Christ’s work for us and changed by it too. No more labor in the sun… just fun in the cool of the day, every day.
When life gets hot, turn yet again to the cross. When things seem too much, cling to Jesus. When you can’t take the heat, retreat to Christ’s arms of safety and security. His work saves you, his work is bringing you all the way home.