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