Posted by: Brad Stanford | November 16, 2009

Warmth, Starring Bear Grylls

I was up at 6:30 this morning, though the alarm was set for 7. The sound of the wind woke me up. Not just any wind, either. Cold front wind. As I laid there wondering if I should just stay under the covers for as long as possible, I realized that it was my responsibility as a dad to provide warmth for my family. As I have mentioned before, the wood-burning stove is the only source of heat in the house, so that means getting out of bed, and starting a fire. From start to first radiant warmth, you’re looking at at least 30 minutes.

I thought of my grandfather in California. Now in his 90s, he has lived this lifestyle at varied times in the past. I’ve heard stories about having to get up and start the morning fire, or having to get up in the night to keep it going. It’s just what a man is supposed to do. Better yet, it’s what a man has promised to do.

What has happened, though, is that men have been sold the idea that they are fully capable within themselves of being a source of heat for their families, their churches, their communities. The truth is, even the manliest of men are killed in solo survival situations, and group survival is that much more difficult. Men may be responsible for survival. They may have promised it. That doesn’t mean it is naturally possible for them to pull it off.

There are way too many factors for most people to handle by themselves, and men are people, believe it or not. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It means only .0001% of all people on the earth can be Bear Grylls at any given time. Everyone else that tries to be Bear Grylls is going to be miserable most of the time, and a failure at accomplishing that goal all of the time.

But if I go into the wilderness with Bear Grylls, my odds of coming out are extremely high. Not because of who I am but because of who Bear Grylls is.

My goal is not to be a self-made man. My goal is to get things done. To me, the answer to getting all things done is “…I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” All of the provision that is going on in my house, all the food, all the light, all the warmth is because of who Jesus is, not because of who I am. So as I build a fire, I am thankful for both my 30 year old stove, and my 56 degree office. Both of them will reveal how great God is not as a magician/butler, but as a loving Father who takes the weak, and makes them strong.

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