Be Ready: Preparing for Winter
Lately, I find myself in a very contemplative frame of mind. I enjoy fall with its cooler days, brightly colored leaves, and hearty meals. But the cooler air this fall somehow has an extra bite, because it is a reminder that winter is on its snowy, cold way. Normally, I just enjoy the beauty of autumn without thinking too much about winter. But this year, all I can think about is, “winter is coming!”
Jesus, in Luke 21:36, tells us to “...stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place.” If you read this entire chapter of Luke you will find that Jesus is talking about coming tribulation. His message to us is one of vigilance and prayerful preparation. Be ready because “winter” is coming.
This verse is about being spiritually prepared for Christ’s return. But until that day, I believe Jesus’ entreaty to us has another dimension. Verse 34 talks about how the cares of life consume and distract us from the fullness of our identity and calling in Christ. I think that staying prepared also means being aware of our ability to share hope with others. We can continue to do this even when the world isn’t peaceful or simple.
Winter is coming and there’s no time to waste! Naturally, most of us understand what being prepared for winter means. We get our homes ready and pull out our warmer clothes from storage. But we don’t really think too much about how much we rely on the “invisible” infrastructure that makes it possible to heat our homes, our office spaces, public spaces, and our places of worship.
Over the last few years, you have given blankets to hundreds of people in poverty in Ukraine. Because of your support, many people were kept warm through the cold and snow. But today, I am deeply concerned about a massive, widespread heating shortage across Ukraine. Many of our partners shared with us that their municipal governments have told them that homes in the area will have NO natural gas supply this winter.
We are already making preparations to purchase wood boilers, firewood, and high-efficiency electric heaters in multiple communities. But many more people are at risk right now. There is a vulnerable person in Ukraine that desperately needs your help. Without it, their survival this winter is in jeopardy.
Prayerful preparation WILL give you the strength for whatever tomorrow brings. But it will also transform a world in need. That is my prayer for you today. May the Lord continue to grant you strength for whatever tomorrow brings.
In Love and Grace,