The storm clouds are gathering. Can you feel it? It’s a palpable feeling of impending danger that strikes fear into our heart. Sometimes it’s a news story, weather forecast, or a tornado siren in the distance. Other times, it’s a feeling welling up within us—an inward warning—that says, “check the locks, make sure there’s plenty of water on hand, and double-check the ammunition.” For farmers and ranchers, it’s most often, “secure the barn, break out the heat lamps, and bring in everything that can blow away or freeze.” That’s what Mr. John and I are doing.
Texas doesn’t see single-digit temperatures too often and if the past ten years here at the Cross-Dubya have taught me nothing else, it’s expect the unexpected. With an impending storm, the first real winter weather of the season, that means being prepared for heavy winds, pouring rain, freezing temperatures, and all that comes with it. Having chickens in the mix this year, our winter storm chores list got longer. We built the coop, knowing that bad weather happens. It’s off the ground and well protected. While not weatherproof, it’s in an enclosed area where we can protect against the wintry winds. It’s also near electricity, which means that if our Generac™ holds out, we can keep the heat lamp going when it gets below 20 degrees.
I’m spending my day helping to get as prepared as possible for what’s expected to arrive in the next few days. That means preparing the drafty barn to keep cold north winds out and storing water because the county water plant almost always goes down in freezing weather. It also means ensuring extra feed is on hand. With cattle and other ruminant animals, if you can keep their stomachs working, they have a built-in furnace. For the other animals, calories help them to not have to forage as much.
Like humans, the key to keeping animals warm in winter storms is keeping them dry and out of the wind. Another lesson I’ve learned is to save births for the spring. I am certain there are many who may disagree, but I’ve learned that young animals (e.g., calves and foals) can’t regulate their body temperature as well as say a yearling. They also haven’t developed a normal shedding pattern to make room for a thicker winter coat. That’s the reason my preference has always been to calve in early spring. There’s less environmental stress on the young animals.In what ways can we prepare to survive life’s storms? #SurvivingTheStorm #Jesus #OurAnchor Click To Tweet
All this prep work has me thinking about how well I’m prepared for the coming storm? Not this week’s winter storm, that’s easy. Soup, gloves, vitamin C, and a warm coat and I’m good to go. I’m talking about when the health crisis arrives, the stock market crashes, or the grocery store shelves are empty. And worse, when the bank account isn’t large enough to afford what is on the shelves. With all the chaos, social unrest, and hatred in the world today, I see all these things as possible sooner than some may think.
Other life storms I’ve experienced have been divorce, deaths (unexpected or not), and spiritual attacks that caused me to doubt my faith. The question becomes, how well are we prepared for them? For me, it isn’t a question of if, but when. In John 16:33, Christ Jesus Himself tells us to expect troubles in this life.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have
peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good
cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NKJV)
I have always found great peace in these words. Spoken to His disciples, and I believe for us also, Jesus assured us before He departed to once again be with the Father, that we too can persevere. Another piece of Scripture that I hold on to tightly is 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. Here, Paul reminds us that the storms of life will come, and while they will cause us trouble, they cannot overtake us unless we let them.
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the
body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may
be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NKJV)
I pray that as this new year unfolds, you too find God’s promises to hold on to so we can ride out the Storms of Life together, friends. God never promised that this life would be easy. He promises that with Him, it’s easier. For in Him, we have hope, grace, mercy, and love.
Please join me this Thursday evening at 9:00 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.