Posted by: Brad Stanford | October 6, 2009

Winter’s Coming

I can look out my window and see a cold front coming in. I’ve seen the forecasts. I knew it was coming. Now I can actually see it. And we aren’t very prepared for it.

We have to put up some temporary walls (paneling, cardboard, anything) in the workshop around the water heater and pressure tank closet. It used to have walls, but they were nasty, so they came down. But nothing has gone up in its place.

We have some firewood for our wood-burning stove, which is the only source of heat in the house. Maybe three or four night’s worth. The move hit us financially, and we’re still trying to recover a bit, so we haven’t purchased any wood yet. I understand someone has given us some (it’s in transit, haven’t seen how much), but I’ll need somewhere between two and four cords for the whole winter – don’t even know yet! The wood I do have is somewhat useless – I don’t have a saw to cut it with.

I haven’t been under the house to see what pipes are exposed. This is partly because of the six-rattle snakeskin we found. This is also partly because of spiders. This is also partly because I’m scared.

We have some space heaters. We need to stock up on food in case we get a wet winter, which is what the farmers are saying we’re gonna get.

And my software is still not finished.

You ever get the feeling you’re not prepared?

James 1 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Oftentimes we talk about the battle we have with the flesh. We kick ourselves for being less than what we desire to be. We wonder why we’re lacking.

Perhaps its because we’re so busy trying to get away from trouble. We see Goliath and run the other way. What God was going to do is have you and Goliath change places – you get bigger, he gets…well…dead. But by not persevering, we don’t get to see the end of that story. The first part scared us, and we quit reading.

Perseverance must finish its work, James says. That means waiting for the embarrassment to pass. That means scraping by for another month to see what the next one holds. As Tom Hanks said in Cast Away, “Keep breathing. You never know what the tide’s going to bring in.” Indeed.

So at some point we learn to bow up, persevere, and maturity starts to take effect. So why does James say “Consider it pure joy…”?

T.D. Jakes once said, “If every time I slap you, you get $20,000 what are you going to tell me to do?” The audience yelled, “SLAP ME AGAIN!” If on the other side of a trial is God getting glory; is Noah’s boat coming to rest on dry ground; is more than Job had before; is resurrection after the beating and the cross, if you know that from experience, then you can look at the cold front, and the lack of firewood, and say with a scarred snarl, “Bring it on.” Because you know it’s payday.

Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (emphasis mine)

When you have too much month, and not enough money, or when you have a giant and only five stones, or when you have too much winter and not enough firewood, you can stare straight into the squall, and smile. Because provision has already been set out for you. God has pointed to you and said, “Here. Have $20,000.” SLAP!

I look out my window, and I smile at the cold front. I’m not prepared, but I know my provision is blowing in.

And if it happens to turn my lawn brown, that will solve the no lawnmower problem.



  1. […] Single Source Of Heat As a follow up to my post Winter’s Coming; it’s first test is on us. We’re figuring out how to live with a single source of heat […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: