cold-weatherMy friends in the upper Midwest will laugh at me for this, but I just want to hibernate when the thermometer dips below 25.

I haven’t always been this way; I’ve spent a winter in northern Michigan and lived three years in northern Idaho. I used to go up into the mountains to harvest 10 cords of wood before every winter, and when the temperature hit 35 in April, it felt like short-sleeve weather. But those days are gone. Now I’m an admitted winter-wimp.

That said, I have to admit that I love what they say in Norway: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” 

You can see where I’m going with this, right? There’s a spiritual application for that cold-weather wisdom. (There’s a spiritual application for almost everything.) Your outward environment doesn’t define your experience; how you’re dressed for it does.

You know this. We’ve all heard it a hundred times. Still, most of us look at circumstances for our success or happiness while giving considerably less attention to our character and attitudes. We focus on externals and assume the internal environment will take care of itself.

It won’t. In fact, it’s the other way around.

I firmly believe that God will give us more opportunities and greater platforms to fulfill our callings if we’re dressed for the weather that comes with them. But that’s a big if. If we aren’t inwardly prepared to move forward, he very often won’t let us.

That’s because God doesn’t always deliver us from adversity. Sometimes he does; he’s a protector by nature, and he certainly knows how to rearrange our circumstances for our own good. But we can’t afford to live with an eye only toward deliverance. We also have to prepare ourselves for endurance. His greatest miracles usually occur in the midst of adversity, not by circumventing it.

We have to know how to navigate this tension between deliverance and endurance.  We can hope for the former but have to prepare for the latter. Life is full of adversity, and there’s no way to avoid it. There is, however, a way to dress for it.

We see this everywhere in scripture, from the opposition against the prophets to Paul and Silas singing in prison to James’ counterintuitive claim that trials aren’t there to weigh our faith down but to strengthen it.

Anyone who gets this down essentially becomes invincible. That’s the opportunity before you, and it’s a big one. You can live as an indestructible agent of God’s kingdom.

Do you really want to position yourself for wherever God wants to take you? Then pay most attention to your inner environment. The weather ahead, wherever that is, will be no match for the Spirit at work within you.

Click to tweet: Your outward environment doesn’t define your experience; how you’re dressed for it does.


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Xenia 10.06.2017 07:57  
Yes No   "But we can’t afford to live with an eye only toward deliverance. We also have to prepare ourselves for endurance. His greatest miracles usually occur in the midst of adversity, not by circumventing it." Thank you for saying it so well; what an insight! It totally changes the focus and brings the heart into the process instead of passively and/or impatiently expecting a happy ending.  
   
       
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