If you live in Southwest Michigan and you are reading - God bless you and you will understand my analogy. If not - you are one lucky person and I pray you still get something from my words.
In the past 2 days, Kalamazoo has been dumped with so much snow that literally everything was canceled yesterday - aka EPIC Commission Classes & all surrounding colleges, and tonight a whole new round of snow is expected… so it looks like winter is coming early (November 17th to be exact.)
And yesterday, as I was helping my roommate clean off of her car, I had a moment where I was so thankful that even though Winter had come early this year - we are prepared. We have warm boots, a shovel, windshield scrapers, gloves, coats that fit - the whole 9 yards. And I was thankful that without much preparation we could jump into a snowy season, feet first (or bottom first if you slipped on the patch of ice outside your door - I totally did that this morning.)
It is often through pretty basic daily realizations that God ministers to me, like yesterday. And this moment I had yesterday has been stirring in my heart with the idea that God is preparing us right now for seasons that we haven't yet started, or that we may get thrown into tomorrow.
And I don’t know about you, but I want to be prepared for whatever He has. Preparation when you are in Christ is something that sort of comes naturally, but I think there are things that we can have strong convictions on and develop them - to help the seasonal changes.
Though arguably, it’s hard to prepare for a life with Jesus. Because a life with Him requires complete surrender, a sense of not necessarily planning completely, handing over the reigns. Which is why it is so so so important to know your God, know His ways, have a foundation, have rich history.
So I’ve made a list of 4 things that I want to feel so secure in, so that even if tomorrow is sunny and 75 (metaphorically of course) I will be prepared:
1. Love - When we are aware of His love for us, what He did for us on the cross and what love like that means, all things change. This love from God, the love which makes the sky open to let water fall upon your face is the same love that cleanses your heart with grace. The same love that transforms. The love that is unconditional, saturating, the love that carries us and holds us tightly in the hands of a Father. His love is what we must always be operating out of and always go back to.
In Your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling // Exodus 15:13
2. Grace - Understand grace, be aware of grace, allow grace to enter into your daily life - let it change you and shape you.
...But He gives more grace… // James 4:6
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me // 2 Corinthians 12:9
3. Reverence for His Word - Never doubt the power that comes from His Word. The bible is literally God speaking. Spend time in the Word, memorize key scriptures, meet with God on each page. Have a deep reverence and yearning for the Word.
My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. // Psalm 119:28
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart // Hebrews 4:12
4. Prayer - Prayer changes situations, it’s an investment into your now, and future. It takes you deeper into a secret place with Jesus. Learn what it means to sit at your Fathers feet and lay your heart out through your prayers. Develop your prayer life, your conversations with the Lord, learn to hear His voice - through all the different dynamics of life.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land // 2 Chronicles 7:14
These are my 4 essentials. The essential truths that the Lord has urged me to dig deeper into, ones that span across seasons and terrains. The truths that the Father has used to carry me from season to season.
So EPIC Commission students, in the beginning of this snowy season - I pray that these help you, they touch you and that in some way push you to a deeper place with our God. That He will prepare you for the next season, and all the ones after that. That you will find warmth and comfort in His word, through prayer, that His love will stretch you and His grace will meet you - wherever it is you are.
Peace and love to ya’ll - Stay warm
1st Year EPIC Commission Student