Ice is extraordinarily destructive. A few weeks ago Texas spent seven days choked by a deep freeze. Ice, then snow, topped with a heavy layer of ice, more snow, more ice. The power grid, water systems, food supply chains, and just about every other essential service was severely disrupted. That may not seem like much to many in more northern climes, but it was a crisis down here. It’s amazing the vulnerabilities that winter exposes.
The vegetation in our part of the country is not used to that level of harshness. Tree limbs cracked under the weight of ice. During the coldest days everything was similarly frozen. But as spring is now breathing its warm moist blessing, it’s becoming evident which trees and plants survived, and which have not.
You too have either faced an ice storm or you soon will. Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic has been that for you. It’s too late to prepare when the freezing rain begins to bombard your life. During the coldest days you may be affected just like everyone else, frozen and hidden. Winter exposes things in your life that don’t show up when things are easy.
The “powers that be” had no contingency plans for such an ice storm in our area. But some people came through much better than others. Those who fared the best wrapped and protected their plumbing, and gathered extra supplies of firewood, food, and water in advance. They chose to prepare before the storm.
You need to do the same. Here are three ways you can prepare before your storm. Taking these steps before you face the next deep freeze will leave you unashamed when winter exposes the true resilience of your character.
Sink Your Roots Deep
Vegetation surges forward when the weather is warm and moist, growing quickly. But shallow or unhealthy roots won’t keep the plant alive when faced with drought, wind, or ice.
How deep and how healthy is your root system? That’s the part of you that’s below the surface, that is usually unseen – until a crisis comes.
Are your roots shallow, happy to soak up the daily or weekly spiritual moisture provided by others? Your above-the-ground leaves might grow quickly for a time. You might look healthy temporarily. But when adversity comes, your roots aren’t deep enough to make it.
I learned this again when my husband passed away a few years ago. Believers and non-believers alike experience the extreme pain of grief. But the difference for me was that I had deep roots. I had to draw on who I knew God to be through study of His word and past experiences with Him. And as the ice storm of my grief eventually melted, I emerged stronger and even more resilient.
You develop deep roots by investing over time in character development, emotional intelligence, and spiritual understanding. By going through things with God you develop trust that He will be there for you. You come to understand His ways, and how He works with you personally. You learn more about human beings, and how the world works. Then even if the ice breaks some of your branches, your root system has the resilience to come back even stronger.
Deal With Your Vulnerabilities
The Titanic was sunk by damage from the below-the-surface part of an iceberg. Those Christian leaders who have experienced a “fall from grace” did not set out to disgrace their own legacy or the name of Christ. They simply failed to deal with the hidden parts of their soul, allowing small sins to go unchallenged and ignoring private weaknesses.
If you “fall,” you will most likely be taken out by stuff under the surface. Your pipes work just fine when it’s warm outside. Then the deep freeze comes, they’re not protected, and your plumbing bursts, creating havoc.
The three biggest vulnerabilities of most human beings might be summarized as the gold, the girls, and the glory. Or said differently, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” (1 John 2:16) So, how are you dealing with your sexual “stuff?” With your materialism and physical desires? Or with your hunger to be recognized and important?
Give the Holy Spirit permission to deal with you. And when He does, say Yes.
Flowing water won’t freeze nearly as easily as stagnant water. That’s why people are told to keep one or more faucets dripping during freezing weather.
You need water flowing through your life. That starts with regular input from others in the body of Christ. Someone will have an insight, some encouragement, a measure of faith that you don’t feel right now. Someone has been down this road a little farther than you have, and you need what they have to offer.
And you also need to regularly be giving out, helping someone else. There’s little that will lift your own spirits more than experiencing someone else being blessed by something you’ve been able to provide – material help, emotional support or insight, spiritual encouragement. This is one of the ways in which God takes what seemed hopeless in your own life and turns it into something meaningful whereby you can bless others.
You’ll “freeze” if you remain isolated. You need the flow of regular input and regular output in order to make it through the storm, connecting with people who can help you and people you can help.
So make sure you prepare before your storm. Before the next problem overwhelms your life, make sure you invest in getting your roots deep, addressing those areas where you are vulnerable, and nurturing strong connections with others even though it’s messy.
Your Turn: Look back on the most recent storm in your life. How did you fare? Are there any ways in which you need to prepare differently before the next storm comes? Leave a comment below.
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- Winter exposes the truth. When a storm comes, your true character can be seen. Before the next storm comes, invest in sending your roots deep, dealing with your vulnerabilities, and nurturing healthy connections. Tweet that.
Need Help Dealing with Your Sexual “Stuff?”
The Sexpectations online course is a place where you look at your sexual story with honesty and compassion, and find the healing and transformation Jesus offers. For all that was done to you and all that you’ve done – dealing with those places in your heart will bring freedom and joy you’ve been longing for.