Do you like autumn? It’s weird for me because as much as I love the weather and beautiful colors, I get a little down because I know what’s coming- winter. Naked trees. Grays and browns. Cold. For me it’s just all blahhh. Everything seems dead in winter.

 You may be reading this at night, but I write in the morning hours. From my window, I can see those crazy little squirrels running around getting ready for the cold weather.(Public apology for taking out one of their cousins yesterday with my van.) I’m never ready for winter. Not emotionally.

The squirrels are preparing. Other animals do the same thing. If you and I had lived 100 years ago, we would have canned and dried food. Our husbands and sons would be chopping wood and storing up hay. The only preparing we do is buy extra bread and milk if our weather app calls for flurries. 

Some wise people prepare for the future financially, saving money for college tuition and retirement. 

What about being prepared spiritually? We all know that tragedies, crises, and illnesses usually do not send us a warning of their upcoming arrival. We don’t get a text or email about trouble that is on its way into our lives. There is not a beautiful season in our lives that foreshadows cold days ahead. 

We cannot control our lives no more than I can stop winter from coming. Sure, I would love for the fall temperatures and its beautiful colors to stay all year long, but it’s not gonna happen. Winter is coming and God is graciously announcing it to us as he does each year. In this broken world, however, difficult days often come unannounced and unwelcomed.

As we live our days connected to our Creator, celebrating the good times in worship, seeking his wisdom in times of decision, thanking him for his provisions, we can then rest in him in the hard times. Staying close to him is our spiritual preparation for the winter days of life. As I’m writing, hot pastor is building the first fire of the season. He knows me and my dislike of the cold. Love that man. 

God knows us. He is ready to build a fire for us when the cold days come. Knowing that about him- his character and his faithfulness strengthens us and helps us trust him when the skies turn gray and the temperatures plummet. Living life on our own, disconnected from Christ through the wonder of spring, the fun summers, and the beauty of autumn leaves us in complete panic when winter comes. 
Today may be one of those days for you. An unexpected tragedy, illness, or a difficult teenager breaking your heart. You didn’t see it coming, but it’s here. Your Father will build you a fire. Come close to him and feel his warmth. He is a refuge for us in every storm, in every season. I pray that your trust in him has grown through the year so that you are ready for this hard day. Grace is a beautiful thing. If you were not prepared because you have been living life on your own, God will not kick you out into the storm. His door is open. 

John 15:5

New International Version (NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Psalm 34:8

New International Version (NIV)

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.