Friday, January 24, 2014

Preparing For The Unseen

Remember those math word problems we all hated in school and considered Useless For Real Life?

Shocker alert: I think I actually used one today. Weird, right?

It went like this:

If today is sunny, 6 degrees with gusts of minus 10 wind chill and tomorrow is supposed to be 25 degrees, but dark, with steady wind and snow, which day would be better to go grocery shopping?

The correct answer? Today. heh.

And as I gingerly stepped upon the ice in the parking lot while gripping my long black wool coat, I watched folks similarly dressed, pushing their carts to their cars, heads bent against the wind and thought, "How tough and rugged we all must be! Every winter we brave these ridiculous temperatures. We don't whine much about it, we just do what must be done, decade after decade."

And I smiled. It actually reminded me of this verse from Isaiah 41:

"Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties..."

The 'harden you thing' is like when you have a young plant that you leave out during sunny days, then carry inside protectively at night, until it can safely remain outside 24/7. God has prepared my 37-years-in-snow-country body a bit like that--slowly, over the years--and now 30 degrees feels nearly tropical. (Humor me.) I still feel the cold, yes, but oh! Not as brutally as, say, some Los Angeles native whose shivering body I'd have needed to carry inside the store this morning. :)

And you know? I think daily tests come along to help strengthen and harden us all off against Really Hard Times ahead in the road. God knows exactly what's beyond and He loves to strengthen us before-time, like, for when your husband spends the winter in hot South Africa, leaving you home in 6 degrees, alone but not alone.

God has ways to prepare us for anything ahead, including showing us where we need to come up higher. What matters is that we cooperate with Him so that we'll be ready, calmed. For all of it.


“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
Abraham Lincoln

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin


Anonymous said...

It is true about one's body getting used to least when younger. We have lived over a decade now in the south...and I lost my "western hide"...I get cold so much easier. In the west, as long as I was not going to be out too long, even in 35-40 degrees, I never bothered with a coat. Now? Oh my...when it gets below 60 degrees, I wear a coat outside. I laughed when we moved back here seeing some old ladies wearing their coats when it was 80 degrees outside and almost as much humidity. Well...hmmm, I might be like that one day too!!

Is your hubby going to be gone ALL winter long?? I thought it was for a few weeks.
Elizabeth in NC

Elizabeth said...

I cannot even imagine it being that cold Debra, the low 20's are about as cold as we get. Stay safe and warm!

Anonymous said...

Feeling cold seems relative. I lived till I was way into my 20s in the East. Cold and colder. Then moved to S. Calif. I froze the first two years more than I did in the East! Weird. Very weird. Not that the temps. froze here. I walked around in a long sleeve sweater and then two sweat shirts and over that a back east weight car coat. ...and froze still!! I could not in the world understand how others here would go out in flip flops and a heavy {for here} coat only. Now I can weather it all but then! People said the air and humidity or such is different and so cold is a different kind here. It took quite a while for my body to adjust. My body just knew I was icy cold in a S. Calif winter. I have since run into others that had the same experience.

Then too as we get older we seem to get colder more easily and I have noted some of that too. I saw my grandfather back East start to wear a poplin jacket in his home every day. Then years later at about the same age my father too started wearing a poplin jacket. Now me? I still though miss back East..snow and all. My heart will always be back there with it and it's people. They say here in the west Texas is similar to it in the way people are friendly and neighborly. Don't worry I got wayyyyy more out of your writings today then to just think of the cold. I realize the point you are making. :-) Sarah

Pat said...

We do toughen our selves to the circumstances, but I have to admit, I complain just a wee bit more then I should, LOL! In my advancing years, I get a bit timid about walking on the icy parking lots.
We do, with great rejoicing, welcome those first days of spring though don't we? Stay warm!