Insulated in Prayer

December 31: Church office & CDC closed in honor of New Year's Day

For the past month, my beloved bicycle has been in the storage room -- untouched, unridden, unattended. It's in perfectly good condition, but I have the perfect, southern excuse for its neglect.

It's COLD outside.

Granted, those of you from snowier climates are probably laughing at my description of 45 degrees as COLD in all caps. However, having lived in the southern states my whole life, "cold" applies.

Yesterday I decided that it was time for the bike to emerge from hibernation. I went to the local bike shop to purchase an appropriate jacket to keep me warm on the ride. The owner found one for me, and it felt paper-thin. Skeptical, I tried it on and asked, "Are you sure this will keep me warm?"

He replied, "What's important is wind resistance. This is the best for protecting you from the wind."

I secretly hoped that he would be wrong, and I would have yet another excuse for not exercising. But as I began riding and the wind increased with my speed, I was not cold. The jacket that seemed so thin was made of a strong material that insulated me.

We can't control inclement weather. We can't control bitter wind. What we can control is our readiness for whatever life brings our way. Ephesians 6 teaches us about the armor of God, which we put on when we pray. In the safety of God's wing, we can head into the wind no matter how cold it might be. When we pray, our words & petitions might seem as thin as that jacket. But when we make the effort to pray, God steps in and insulates us from the harshness of life.

As we say good-bye to 2010 and hello to 2011, let us resolve to be a people who pray as God's word instructs us. When we do so, we will find ourselves warmed and resilient because of God's armor--and not our own.

grace to each of you,
Pastor Darian