As we lay on rafts in the blue Caribbean sea, soaking up the sun one last morning, it was with the knowledge that in just a few short hours we would be back in Pennsylvania where a cold front had swept in which included not only cold temperatures but a biting wind.
As we left the warm water we drank in one last glimpse of the palm trees, turquoise water, and white sand and then headed in to do our final packing. A few hours later, we climbed on to a big plane that flew us north to winter.
And winter it was, too. Within a three hour flight we went from almost 90 degree temperatures to 32 degree temperatures. Talk about a shock to the system. Thankfully, we were prepared for the cold temps with warm coats waiting in the car. We went home to a warm house and climbed into a bed toasty warm with a down comforter, while the winds raged all around. There was a moment or two during the night that I felt fairly certain we would be carried to Oz. But, no, when we woke up we were still in cold Pennsylvania.
As I lay there listening to the bitter winds blowing, I couldn’t help but think of the warm, tropical evenings we had experienced the previous week– just a few short hours south by plane. And then I thought about how often our personal “winters” often come on so suddenly, as well.
We will be happily enjoying a summer-like existence filled with peace and good things and Bang! We will get a diagnosis or a pink slip or a phone call. And life changes. In an instant, we are transferred from summer to winter.
But many of us do not have our winter coats and warm blankets in place for that moment. Instead we have poured all our energy and efforts into enjoying life and fulfilling ourselves and finding our “purpose”.
We forget that a deep relationship with God is what prepares us for those long winter days and evenings ahead of us. We forget that studying and knowing God’s Word is the warmest coat possible and that a consistent prayer life functions as the warm blanket that keeps our winters bearable.
When things are going well, our relationship with God doesn’t seem quite as important. We don’t really need Him in our daily lives, because we have everything we could possibly need available to us and feel quite confident in our self-sufficiency. It becomes hard to fit in time with God amidst our busyness and we can’t always see the importance of it. At that point, we have a choice to make: will we forget God or will we strive to know Him more in our good season of life?
Warm coats and blankets do not appear out of thin air and neither does a deep relationship with God.
When our summer suddenly turns to winter, will we be caught alone without any protection or will we already be relying on Him for our daily decisions and choices?