We have already seen one of our members go South for the winter and over the next couple of weeks we will be seeing a few more of our own getting out before the cold of winter sets in. As the winters drag on, I will be honest with you, I see their wisdom. Nonetheless, we are the ones left behind watching our friends and family head for warmer climate. As the temperatures start to drop, and the snow starts to fall it is inevitable that certain hardships will come to those of us wintering here in Iowa.
For starters, we will likely face the occasional cancelled services. In the nearly six years that I have been here I think we managed to make it through just one winter without a cancelled worship service due to inclement weather. In fact, we usually have to cancel a couple of services, especially as we head into January and February (whether it be for extreme cold or just too much snow). These missed services have an impact upon our spiritual growth. Just as skipping a meal can make you feel sluggish and weak. Missing a spiritual meal will have the same impact upon you. It weakens you spiritually and it can and has been known to put a person in a rut that it hard to get out of.
Cold weather adversely affects a lot of people. I get it, some people love the cold. (I used to be one of those people that thrived the colder it got). However, most adults it seems are not like children. The children see the snow and the cold and get excited about all the opportunities; snow forts, snowball fights, snowmen, snow days etc. Adults tend to look at the cold and snow and say, ďI really donít feel like crawling out of bed, it is just to warm.Ē Or, ďI really donít want to go out and shovel the drive for the 3rd time this week.Ē Sure, we get up because we have to, we donít get snow days and fro many of us, the snow and cold weather just makes our jobs a little more difficult. As a result we get discouraged as we long for warmer days and realize those warmer days are a ways out because it is only December.
And it has been scientifically proven that people struggle when they arenít getting enough sunshine. I myself have struggled with what doctors call seasonal depression. When I donít get enough sunshine, I struggle. My body doesnít produce endorphins like they do in the summer time. This is not meant to be an excuse for being it the ďdumps.Ē Rather it is something that I must prepare myself for. If I am not careful, and not just myself but many others have this same issue, I can end up in a real rut when coupled with snow, cold, and cancelled services. If we are not careful the winter can be torture to our spiritual well being. So, what should we be doing about it?
Make it to every service you can. I know that life happens. You can get sick, kids get sick, etc. But, donít neglect to come just because you donít feel like coming. The truth is, it is in those moments that you need to be here the most. Neglecting the assembling of the saints doesnít just hurt the church, but it has real adverse affects upon you. Donít feed the downs by stay home, rather fight them off by getting out to services.
Make an effort to see your brothers and sisters in Christ outside of normal worship hours. Ladies, you have a monthly bible study. Donít miss out on those opportunities. It is not just time to hear Godís word taught, it is also time for you to be with those of a like and precious faith. Of course, those arenít the only opportunities that exist. We have quarterly get togethers, we have a monthly study where we are going through the minor prophets. But, you can also knock on doors, invite friends over for game night, invite people over for a singing, etc. The point here is to find someway to get that extra time with the saints, especially if we end up having multiple services cancelled due to inclement weather.
Study the word. I know that I encourage you to do this often. It is not that it isnít important in the Summer time, however, when your spiritual batteries are running low there is no better way to get recharged than to spend a few minutes in Godís word. If we end up cancelling services, why would you turn the TV on. You already have that time blocked out for the worship of God. Worship God in your home. Break open your bible study a chapter of Proverbs. Read through an epistle. Spend on hour contemplating the Gospels. And then, meditate upon what you learned. Spend an extra 30 minutes praying. Have kids at home? Sing songs of praise unto God with them. Chances are, they at least know the songs they sing in bible class.
When the winter sets in, donít let the blahís get you down. Keep your faith going strong by staying active in your service unto God!
Grinnell church of Christ
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Volume 6 Issue 44