Saturday, February 2, 2013

Learning to Laugh at the Days to Come

Every winter I feel it coming on. As soon as the first threats of a winter storm are announced by the media, I tense up. My heart starts beating a little faster and I can feel the blood coursing thru my veins. Momentarily paralyzed, I catch myself holding my breath as a slight twinge of fear attempts to overtake me.

Ugh… winter. It’s definitely for kids.

(Pic is of my son, Chase, and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, when they were dating in 2003. Our 160 year old farmhouse is in the background.)

I know the weathermen need to prepare us, but the sense of urgency in their voice and the constant repetition of each impending snowstorm doesn’t help calm me down, rather it gets me down. While I do appreciate their informative reminders of how to drive in the snow (along with the importance of having a full tank of gas in the winter), their warnings sometimes make me not want to leave my house at all—for days.

Also, in the winter we hear more doom and gloom about the previous year’s statistics and the poor economy. This includes everything from the rise and fall of gas prices, to the cost of bacon going down and the price of milk going up. And our taxes need computed in the winter, too, which can be depressing. The bottom line is—there is always something to get in a tizzy over. There is always something to fuss and worry about. You would think, however, the older we get the more we’d realize: Most of what we dread never happens.

How much time and energy do we waste worrying about things that never transpire? How often do we let the enemy steal our peace and joy, over…what?

So for this year I want to set some different goals. Besides my ongoing aspirations of getting healthier and more organized, I want to learn to fear less and laugh more. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, who “is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come,” I want to aspire to be more like that. This means I need to be prepared physically and mentally. When we are properly equipped it makes us stronger and more able to face adversity. Part of being physically fit is so that we can perform the duties God has assigned to us. And dignity means knowing who we are in Christ—living our life on purpose, with intent and integrity to glorify our King.

Yes, it is wise to be prepared. Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8). However, don’t let yourself get bogged down by the threat of possible doom. Instead, keep first and foremost in the front of your mind whose you are. Then you will know…The joy of the Lord is our strength, (Nehemiah 8:10).

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