I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:2
While the weather was steamy and hot today, tomorrow is September 1 and with it, the temperature is starting to drop here in Minnesota. In fact, by Friday the highs will only be in the upper 60's. My days of running air conditioning are quickly fading away. Yes, my thoughts are indeed turning to the long winter months which lie ahead. Fall is rather short here in Minnesota as we can get snow accumulation as early as October.
Shelter is critical up here, particularly in the winter. Depending on the windchill factor, exposed skin can freeze within minutes. While I would prefer to sit close to the fire on days like that, most of the time I don't have that luxury. I must go out into the world. However, I don't just dash out into -30F weather. That would be very foolish indeed and could even be fatal. I prepare myself to go out in it and protect or shelter my skin from the cold.
The rule of thumb is to dress in layers. That will keep you warmer as warm air gets trapped between the layers of clothing. Of course, one must always take care of your feet as toes are prone to being nipped or frost-bitten as are your fingers and nose. For me that means I put on some warm winter socks as well as boots designed to keep my feet warm in arctic-like temperatures.
My ears were nearly frost-bitten when I was a teenager and so they are somewhat sensitive to the cold. That means I always wear a hat which covers my ears and in addition, I pull a hood over my tender ears. The memory of the pain I endured makes me very conscientious of protecting my ears. Depending on what the windchill is, I also use a scarf to protect my face from the cold air. When I am sufficiently sheltered from the blast of winter, I venture outside.
Over the years, I have observed several types of Christians. Some of them shut themselves inside the church, never leaving their place beside the fire. It is too dangerous out there so they simply do not go.
Others, venture out heedlessly, never bothering to make sure they are equipped to do so. We don't want to do either!
We do not need to be afraid to venture out of the church building for God is our refuge. He is our shelter. However, it is critical that we prepare ourselves to venture out into the world and be equipped to the job God has called us to do. While we may still face the difficulties of winter, we will be prepared to withstand them and when spring comes, we will still be found faithfully standing.
Having just experienced my warmest winter ever I truly cannot imagine the cold you have to manage in. May be during my next winter you will be here and can experience it with me!
I love the analogy you have used K. A very clear message indeed. Preparation, preparation, preparation! Therein is wisdom.kbird