Nearly all week I've been stuck inside the house. The roads have been a sheet of ice, temperatures have been steadily below freezing and it's simply a risk to get out on the roads.
All week, we've battled frozen pipes, rolling blackouts and trying to keep warm. I don't think our heater has stopped once and I'm afraid to see what next month's bills will amount to. Between leaving the water dripping all night for a week, to the added electricity and gas to heat the house... well, it's not going to be good.
Our northern neighbors, I'm sure, are rolling their eyes thinking, "Oh please, are you serious? That's a spring day to us."
We, in the south, simply aren't equipped to deal with this sort of weather. We could be. Perhaps we should be...
In the north, this is nothing.
It made me think of how we as a people are equipped for different situations, different temps, different circumstances....
I walked out onto my porch this morning, surrounded by this amazing winter wonderland. All was still, quiet. No birds sang in the morning, as usual. No revving of cold engines, readying for the commute to work. No sleepy teens passing by on the way to school.
All stillness. All quiet. All at peace.
Except the chattering of my teeth. I'm not equipped for this kind of weather. I'm a pure southerner. Born in sunny California, then moved to blazing-hot Texas. I can take the heat. My northern in-laws melt and wonder, "How do you live like this?"
My exact thoughts when I visit up north in the winter. But they are equipped for the cold, and months of dark, cloudy skies and sub-zero temperatures.
Funny how we are each equipped to live in the place God has placed us. And maybe we didn't start out that way, but we manage to adapt. We manage to accept the place we are at, eventually, some quicker than others... and we make our way.
It's easy to look at those around us and wonder, "How can you do that?" or "What are you thinking?" or "What are you whining about? I deal with that all the time."
Throughout the Bible, God set different people in particular places. Like Ester. When her relatives, her people, were being persecuted, and she was sitting pretty in the palace, her cousin Mordecai knew it was for a reason. "How do you know, you have not been put in this place of royalty for such as reason as this?"
What about Moses who was born just as the Pharaoh decided that all infant male Jews needed to be killed off? Moses was sent to be raised by the Pharaoh's own daughter, until such a time when he would rise up and help free his people.
There are so many other examples. When it looks bad, and doesn't make sense. Joseph, destined to rule had to go to prison first. To look at these stories, you wonder what did people think of Ester, Moses, or even Joseph? They lived lofty lives... for awhile... while other's suffered.
As I stood on the porch, in the quiet stillness, wondering if my kitchen sink would work this morning or not, I couldn't help but think, you just never know about things when you are looking from the outside in.
Everyone has a reason and purpose on this earth. Not everyone realizes that. The enemy seems intent on discounting that purpose. He seems intent to cloud the truth, to whisper lies, not only to us, but to those who observe us.
But God has placed us right where we need to be. Either in a hot, sweltering climate, or a frigid one, standing up to our knees in snow. For where He's placed us, He's equipped us to deal with our situation, and to carry out those plans He has for us. If we so choose to accept them. Not all do.
No, here in the south, we are not equipped to deal with the freezing temperatures. But we aren't meant to. No more than the north is meant to deal with the insane heat we have here. We have our means to deal with our physical circumstance. For the most part. We still complain and wait eagerly for fall to arrive, just as the Northerner's sigh with relief when the snow melts and the first buds blossom.
Spiritually, are we accepting the place in which God has set us? Are we allowing Him to equip us for the circumstances He has called us to? It's different for everyone. Are we being supportive of our brother's and sisters, even when it really doesn't make sense? Are we asking first, "have you heard from God?" before we shake our heads and give our opinion on their plight in life?
Just wondering. Now that my toes are numb, I'm going back into the warmth of my house. The snow is nice and fun for awhile, but I'll be glad when Texas gets back to her normal weather patterns. My sneakers aren't meant for this ice and slush and my flip-flops are ready to come out and play.