How to Beat Back the Cold

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
16296606104 9dc0671f8f z

Our furnace died on one of the coldest winters in recent history. No amount of button-pushing or breaker-switching would bring it back to life.

There we sat, for three days, with a corpse of a furnace in the basement as we braced against a ferocious wind whipping our white, wild world. Walls and windows rattled. We had to wait until Day Three before the furnace repairman could make it up our drifted-in driveway on the farm.
We felt like pioneers on the blustery Iowa prairie. Cold and waiting, we sought warmth in timeworn places.

Finding Warmth in One Another

As flakes flew in God's tipped snowglobe, we pressed in ever-closer to one another. We sought warmth in cups of hot tea and feet pajamas. We found heat in the presence of a sister's torso and a shared blanket. We found warmth in relationship.

It wasn't that bad, really. We weren't turning blue or anything. In fact, one of our thermal-skinned daughters even refused to wear socks or long sleeves.

Church friends loaned us an electric-heater that we used to warm the girls' bedrooms. And with a push of a button on the wall, a fire raged in the living room. For three days, it was enough to keep us warm until the repairman resurrected the dead.

Finding Warmth in the Word

Each morning, I awoke to hear on the local news that school was canceled . . . again. Each morning, I turned on the fireplace while thanking God for modern inventions. Were I to have begun my day with complaints about the cold, I would have been stopped short during my morning prayers for Haiti. The hurt in our shared world puts our minor inconveniences into sharp perspective.

I set out trays for breakfast near the fire and found a place near the flames while waiting for the girls to wake.

As I waited, I opened the Bible and was warmed by leather-bound Words. The Word is kindling, setting aflame this heart that would grow cold without it.

I turned to John 21 to read a story of some fishermen with a cold streak of their own: They couldn't catch any fish.

Someone shouted warmly from the shore:
"Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?"

They answered, "No."

He said, "Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens."

They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren't strong enough to pull it in.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Master!" (John 21:12, MSG)

The story says the disciples raced for the shore, where the Risen Jesus waited near a warm fire He'd made. Then Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.”

I savored those warm words on that cold day. I ate them. They satisfy the hunger and cold within me. I find the Risen Jesus near the fire of his Word during my own cold streaks.

I find he is the very fire, and I bow low in reverence and awe.

Finding Warmth in the Everyday, Every Single Day

The girls woke up late with mussed hair, trudging up the stairs from the basement in their jammies. They saw a fire roaring, with breakfast trays ready. This wasn't a four-course meal–just ordinary bowls of cereal and cups of apple juice.

But this is how we beat back the cold. We seek warmth in the ordinary-ness of our lives, even when everything around us seems so cold.

As Christians, we often look for God in the lofty places, thinking that's where we'll find Him. But always, we can find God right here in our everyday lives, in ordinary places like fire-warmed living rooms.

Together, we waited for the furnace repairman, huddled by the flames, remembering the story of a campfire breakfast with Jesus. And right then and there, we had one of our own. We had a campfire breakfast with Jesus.

This is our daily Breakfast of Champions -- fortified with vitamins and minerals and the warmth of a Holy Repairman who daily calls to us: "Breakfast is ready."

Questions for personal reflection, online discussion, or small groups:

  • Have you been caught in the cold lately?
  • What's your cure for bitter-cold days of the soul?
  • How do you find warmth in relationships, the Word, and the ordinary-ness of your life?
  • This past week, we celebrated the resurrection on Easter. The Risen Jesus is ready to meet us for breakfast and bring renewal into our lives. What are you waiting for the Repairman to resurrect?