This picture captures the corner of our family room.
The fire glows behind the wood stove's door. The wood box (crafted by dear hubby) brims with dry, seasoned logs ready to burn. A few damp pieces sit drying in the cast iron frame to the left and in front of the stove. And the water kettle, filled to the top, rests on the stove humidifying the heat-dried air.
Yup. It's finally snowing in southeastern Pennsylvania. After a snow-filled December and balmy, 60-degree January, we wondered if we'd see winter again.
Predictions call for eight-to-thirteen inches of snow and blizzard-like conditions over the next twenty-four hours. It's about time. I've been waiting for a storm since January 1st. :o)
Storms are fun when we're prepared. We've done all we can to "red-up" for this storm. The indoor wood supply is full and ready to go.
The outdoor wood shed is brimming (we've barely used a third-of-a-cord of wood this winter so far--that's how mild it's been).
We filled the bird feeders so our feathered friends won't go hungry.
And we cleared the deck and driveway of all obstacles (dog toys included) to make it easy to run the snowblower. We have our bottled water, candles, oil lamps, and batteries on stand-by in case of storm-related power outages. And the pantry is full.
Now all we have to do is ride out the storm.
That got me thinking.
I'm about to begin teaching a 10-week series on the Sermon on the Mount. I suspect, because of the nature of the topic, we'll face a number of storms this semester: emotional storms; discouragement storms, perhaps even theological storms.
Have I readied my heart for the semester's storms the way I have my home for this weather?
Gladly, I can say 'yes.' I've been praying for some time now about this semester. I've recruited others to pray, too. I've been reading the Scriptures and plowing through commentaries to gain the necessary background to teach this awesome passage. And I'm relying on God--on His grace to accomplish His purposes in and through me over the next three months.
Yes, I think I've prepared well. But I have to remember that this preparation isn't a once-and-done thing. Just has I have to refill the wood box in the family room from the stores out in the shed, so I must continually allow God to refill me (my mind, my heart, my soul, my strength and stamina, etc.) from the stores of His word and Spirit.
Otherwise, though I might flame well for a few hours, ultimately I'll burn out, becoming useless to shed light and warmth to others.
So here's to learning to prepare for and weather storms, whether literally or metaphorically. And to allowing ourselves to be refilled.
Take time this week to let God fill (or refill) you.
'Til next time,