Winter doesn’t just sneak up.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household… Prov 31:21
We had a snow storm last winter that left us with about 6 inches of snow. Now, compared to when we lived in North Dakota, that isn’t much. It did, however, close many of our businesses and send school students and staff home early. It reminded me of a story I heard by Chuck Swindoll years ago.
Make every effort to come before winter. 2 Tim 4:13, 21
Chuck thought all of his neighbors were CRAZY! It was 80 degrees. Why should he close up his house when the summer breezes were so lovely. So while home owners around him were shutting their homes up and battening down the hatches, he had his windows open and enjoyed lounging in his back yard.
A week later, the temperatures had plummeted to 40 degrees with howling winds and he found himself outside in the icy temps putting on storm windows and storing up the summer paraphernalia while all those around him were snug and toasty in their homes, already prepared for the winter gusts.
Our spiritual winters.
Paul was telling Timothy in this passage above that he wanted him (Timothy) to bring Paul’s coat that had been left, and to please come before winter. Paul knew that it was important to be prepared for the winter weather that would come.
There is a spiritual truth here as well. We each have winter times in our lives. Times of feeling cold and distant from the Lord, times of hardship and struggles. For some of us, these times come monthly with the changes in our hormones. For others, they come with changes in our circumstances. Paul knew that the winter weather meant he needed a coat and he wanted to be PREPARED beforehand. He prepared his life so that when the winter chill set in, he didn’t have to run around trying to find one. He would be ready.
Just like the Indian Summer in New England is a SIGN of the coming change, we often see the coming changes in our lives that whisper a spiritual winter coming. We need to make sure that WE are prepared. We need to be sure that our spiritual closets are prepared and filled up with all we need to get us through those long winter nights. We need to be filled up with the Word of God written on our hearts, with our prayer lives deep and intimate. We need to clothe ourselves, as Is 61:10 says, with garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness so that we will not be naked and unprotected in times of adversity.
The Proverbs 31 woman is like this. She is a woman who thinks ahead and prepares. Not just for the physical times of trial and need, but for the spiritual times as well. She works within her home to build her family up in the trust and knowledge and goodness of the Lord so they are ready when times of challenge come.
Have YOU thought of those times of calamity and how you can prepare for them? Not just physically but spiritually. How do you build strength and preparation into your lives today so you will not be out in the cold?
All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Photos from flickr.commons; Hats Off To You Photography