Out in the Cold

We took the kids skiing for the first time on Monday and MAN it was cold. When we hit the slopes I think the temperature had risen to a whopping 3 degrees. I am so thankful that there was no wind because the cold was quite enough. When I could feel ice forming in my nostrils, I decided that it was time to cover my face. Brrrrrr. THAT was cold.

At least I thought so until today.

wpid-img_20150220_074513.jpg

This morning at 7:45am it was 2 degrees. Not far off from where it was on Monday. But, today the wind is a factor. If you notice the picture above…the “Real Feel” is -18 degrees.

Yep. 18 degrees BELOW 0.

And I believe it.

Last night as I was praying, I was asking God to protect all of those out there who do not have shelter or warmth. This is dangerous weather and it wouldn’t take long for disastrous consequences if one stayed outside too long. This morning, God reminded me that there are people who have shelter and physical warmth who may be freezing, too. He placed a familiar scripture on my tongue…

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I have to admit. I can be a bit anti-social. I tend to fluctuate between times of activity and being surrounded by people – and times when I need to be alone and quiet and to not have the influence of others. I think that’s natural…especially when you look at Jesus as the example. He got away alone after being surrounded by people quite often.

However, I get selfish. God gave me the ability to “feel”. I feel the emotions of others. It’s difficult to explain so I won’t bother, but when you feel for others it can become exhausting and draining. So, I need to spend a day alone. I have to tell you that the temptation to REMAIN alone is great. But, that reveals a selfishness in me. It would be easier and more comfortable to be on my own. I don’t like gossip, can’t wrap my head around the tornadic drama that seems to swirl around certain people, women have so many emotions and they are exhausting…and my four walls are so comfortable. Man, that sounds awful and judgmental when I speak it out loud- but, I am being honest. And selfish. So, God reminds me from time to time that He gave me that gift, and it’s no good unless I use it. When I feel…I have to respond.

There was a particular Wednesday night Bible study that occurred over this summer that I remember clearly. I even remember where I was sitting that night because it was not my normal “spot”. The Pastor said, “Don’t be a Lone Ranger Christian”. We need community. We need to build each other up, correct, steer, love, support, sharpen, nourish, supply for and cry on each other–all in Jesus’ name. We need these things ourselves and we need to provide for these needs in others.

Being alone and out in the cold is dangerous. Being a sheep away from the flock leaves us exposed to cold and to prowling wolves.

If you don’t have a group of people today, just pick one person.

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

Yes, we are all accountable to God directly- but, He wants us to have someone in the flesh here on this earth, too. Whether that person is your husband, wife, sister, Sunday School leader, adult child, neighbor or friend- remember this: there is One who binds us together in love.  When the cold times come, we need to have a friend to warm us with the Word and God’s truth. As we wrap around each other to strengthen each other, Jesus wraps around us so that we will not be easily broken.

 Today, God gave me that reminder and I wanted to share it with you.

Don’t get caught out in the cold alone.

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2 thoughts on “Out in the Cold

  1. Really appreciate this devotional, Joanne. Thanks for being a conduit for God’s message to us. Love you! Mrs. Coffman

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