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Stuck in Colder Weather

Before we begin, I feel the need to make it clear that this song has nothing to do with the song “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band, though I do enjoy it. Recently (and currently) here in Missouri, it has been cold. And that is saying something considering my family just moved from Montana! I will continue to adamantly proclaim, though, that thirty degrees below zero in Montana is still better than zero degrees in Missouri. There is no moisture in the air, and it does not feel like your face is going to burn off when you step outside. The cold in Montana feels clean and pure. Not so in the midwest. Anyway, let’s move on to the point of this article, shall we?

This cold has created a number of issues for many who are experiencing it. My family hasn’t even experienced the worst of situations, like pipes freezing and bursting, or being snowed in, or putting our car into the ditch. But it has still affected us. On one of the colder days we lost power for almost six hours. And then, just a few days ago, I went outside to leave for work. I got in my cold car, sat in my cold seat, fumbled the cold keys into its proper place, and turned it…click, click, click, click…nothing. Now I’m no mechanic, in fact I’m the worst person to ask for help when it comes to such things, but I knew what that meant. Dead battery. 

Now in the grand scheme of things, a dead battery is not the worst thing that could happen ( I currently have a van sitting in Montana with a blown engine). But it is an inconvenience. My day started late, I had to call a friend to help jump start my car (which I’m thankful for such people), I had to go buy the new battery (old one was bad, but more on that later), and then had to get it installed. The day I thought I had planned did not happen like I thought it would. I was impatient, I was annoyed, and I was done. Thank you, cold weather.

It got me thinking…

Have you ever had a season in your life where your faith, your relationship with God, your daily living for Him, just felt cold? I think you understand what I mean. You don’t have that fire you once had for Jesus, your passion seems to wane. Maybe it’s your circumstances or situations that have put you there. Maybe you experienced a tragedy, heartache, or struggle. Maybe you lost your job and you don’t know how you’ll make ends meet. Whatever the case, you’ve withdrawn from God, because maybe you feel He’s withdrawn from you. I assure you He has not. His love for you is deeper and stronger than anything you could ever experience on this earth. But still, you’re struggling. Life is hard. You’re cold. 

Cold christianity can cause issues, just like a cold car battery can cause issues. I believe there are three primary areas that we can begin to neglect when we become cold in our walk with God.

  1. Neglect Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing, or to pray constantly. Yet for many of us, prayer is the last thing that we do. It is one of the most neglected gifts and blessings we are given from God. We become self focused, which then leads us to becoming self reliant. To neglect to pray is to tell ourselves that we are capable of fixing our own situations and problems. Or, at the very least, that we can find the person who can do it. To not pray is to puff up our own ego and to be prideful. 

In my Bible reading this morning was Exodus 2. It contains one of my favorite passages in all of scripture. Israel is enslaved and being oppressed under the Egyptian rule of Pharaoh. So we get to verse 23-25

After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned because of their difficult labor, they cried out, and their cry for help because of the difficult labor ascended to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the Israelites, and God knew.

Israel cried out to God. They PRAYED to God. And their cries ascended to God. And God heard. And God remembered. And God saw. And God knew. 

Israel was going through more than you and I likely every will, and it caused them to run to God in prayer. When you begin to feel the frost settle in your heart, don’t run from God. Run to Him. Pray. 

2. Neglect God’s Word

God’s Word corrects us. It rebukes us. It shows us how far we have fallen short of the mark that God has set for us. It tells us we are sinners in desperate need of a Savior. It tells us we are not good enough, nor can we ever make ourselves good enough. And when we are in the depths of despair, we don’t want to hear those things. 

But, God’s Word is also a comfort. It encourages us. It is a balm for our weary soul. It tells us that even though we have fallen short, even though we are sinners, even though there is nothing we could ever do to save ourselves, God sent His Son to save us. He is our good. He is our righteousness. We don’t have to be good enough because He is good enough. We simply must have faith that His sacrifice is sufficient to forgive us from our sins. 

God’s Word has the ability to warm your weary soul. Do not run from it. Run to it. Dwell on it. Live in it. 

3. Neglect God’s Family

When times are tough, we just want to be alone. We become turtles who retreat into our shells, because it is our safe place. And don’t hear what I’m not saying. Moments of solitude can be good things. They can be beneficial. But too often we lump the church into that as well.

A few years ago, my family went through a living nightmare. Someday I may write about it, and I can see how God was glorified through it, but it’s still too heavy on my heart this day, so I’ll save it for another time. But we didn’t know what to do. We felt completely lost. Most days it was a battle just to get out of bed. All we wanted to do was be alone. But during that time, our church threw their loving arms around us in support. They didn’t walk alongside us, they picked us up and carried us. 

That’s what the church is. It is a gift of grace from God. It is a taste of heaven on earth. It is the water you drink after walking in the desert. It is the hug you receive from your child after a hard day at work. It is the cool breeze on a hot summer's day. It is a shelter from the storm. It is a steady place to stand. And when we are experiencing a season of cold faith, it is the fire we sit beside to warm our hearts. Do not shy away from the church, God’s family, your family. Walk in with a limp, and experience God’s embrace through God’s church.

One final thought before we finish. Back to my car battery, the cold is not what did it in. The battery was already in poor shape. It needed to be replaced. The cold only revealed the deeper problem. 

When you enter into a cold season, we may blame our circumstances, situations, a tragedy, a financial struggle…but in reality, there lies a deeper problem. And if I may be so blunt, here it is…our faith. Cold christians have cold faith. We have ceased believing God is good, God is sovereign, God is over all things. Sure, we say we believe with our mouths, but our hearts don’t really believe it. And lest you think I’m judging you, I’ve been there before. If you are experiencing one of these seasons, you are not the first, you are not the last, and you are not alone. 

It is okay to not be okay. But it is not okay to stay that way. And God offers a way out. God offers a better way. When you come to the realization you’re in a cold season of life, run to God. Run to Him in prayer, dwell on His Word daily, and spend time with His church. Sit at His fire, and He will warm your weary soul. 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


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