Come Before Winter

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.

Snowy

When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas…
Make every effort to come before winter. 2 Tim 4:13, 21
Chuck (or Chucky-baby as he is affectionately referred to by my pastor :) ) talks about the 2 years that he pastored in New England (in fact, it was at a church that I attended 2 decades later). Growing up in the south he was not used to cold New England weather. Nor was he prepared for the rapid changes of seasons. In New England, in September there is usually a chilly week or two and then another week or so of absolutely LOVELY weather. Warm, sunny, and deceptively calm. Us New Englanders call this time Indian Summer and it is a time when we PREPARE our homes for the frigid winter just around the corner. We pull down (or put in, as the case may be) storm windows, put up plastic on outside windows, take in all summer furniture and in every way winterize the home.

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.

Are we preparing to be ready for our winter?

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

 

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10 Comments

  1. I love that quality about the Pr 31 woman!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lori.

      Reply
  2. Oh Kate! I love what you have written. It literally strikes a chord because we had our first snow fall last night!!! (I live in the north east of Scotland) and this is very early for the UK.

    Your spiritual application is beautiful. I hope you don’t mind but I would love to add a link to this post on my Inspriational page here: http://encourage-1-another.blogspot.co.uk/p/inspiration.html

    Keep cosy in the Lord :D

    Wendy

    Reply
  3. Wendy, praise the Lord! I’m glad you found it encouraging. I’d be honored to have you add this post to your lovely Inspirational page! I’ve just been looking at your blog and it is wonderful and I just subscribed via e-mail. Thanks for coming for a visit!

    Reply
  4. What a fitting post, with Hurricane Sandy coming tomorrow and the change in weather here in the East to cold and rainy. It is also fitting for me as I’m dealing with some blues and some family health issues. Beautifully written and encouraging.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth, I was praying for you (even though I hadn’t written) during the storm. Hope all is well with you. May the Lord bless you abundantly in your sweet walk of faith!

      Reply
  5. Excellent thoughts! Thank you for linking up at FunkiPlanet.com.

    Reply
  6. Wow – beautiful post. Yes – I’m in one of those winters…an exhausted mom of two very little children. I thank God that the time I had before that helped to prepare me for this time…and that there are still lessons we can glean from the winter times of our life. Thank you for linking up this very thoughtful post.

    Reply
  7. I was sitting on my porch enjoying the late October sunshine with my two dogs. I had taken the camera out to snap some photos of the changing landscape. Then, I sat on the porch for awhile ad I was just thanking God for the beauty of this day and thinking about writing a poem and what I might write about. It suddenly and quietly came to me, “Come Before Winter.” I walked into the house to write it down before I forgot about it. I wanted to find where this verse is in the Bible so I typed it into “google.” And, here, I have found YOUR wonderful reflection. Thank you!
    Lynda Lambert

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lynda, for your lovely anecdote! And thanks for stopping by. Hope you’ll find yourself stopping by from time to time – and sitting for a visit with me. Blessings to you!

      Reply

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