I don’t remember much about our trip to Alaska in 2006; one line, however, will forever stick in my memory: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear!”
I remembered this during the Christmas season of 2021. As we were visiting our family in western Canada, the mercury dropped to -40. Now at -40, it doesn’t matter if you use Celsius or Fahrenheit, for this is the crucial point where the two scales meet. And in case you’ve never had the privilege of experiencing this particular negative number on the thermometer, let me be the first to tell you that the scale you are using doesn’t matter! -40 is … just … plain … COLD!
Having been forewarned that Alberta was expecting the coldest Christmas in history, however, I was careful to pack good gear. And sure enough, the -40 temps didn’t keep me indoors at all! Yup, I was outside, morning and night, playing in the snow with my grandpuppy, Charlie.
The truth of this statement was once again brought to my mind just days after our return from Alberta. Our region of Ontario, Canada, received what will be termed as “the blizzard of the decade”, with record-breaking snowfall of 60 cm (24″) of the white stuff falling in just 24 hours. And to be perfectly honest, most of that fell over the course of about 4 hours, with rates of up to 10 cm (3.5″) per hour! We were busy shovelling the frozen stuff the day it fell, and even the day after. We were literally snowed in for nearly two days before the city plows finally came through to clear the crescent we live on.
During the days after this, however, we were out for our normal daily walks. We didn’t miss a day.
It occurred to me, as we were dodging icy spots and avoiding the sidewalks which were notoriously more icy than the road, that winter would never succeed in robbing us of our daily walks. As long as we had the appropriate gear, nothing could hold us back!
And isn’t this also the case for our walk through life as well? Oh, life will throw storms. We’ve all experienced many, including blinding “blizzard” of circumstances, “tsunamis” of trials, “earthquakes” of bad diagnoses and broken relationships, “wild fires” of conflict, etc. When these things come upon us, we feel paralyzed, like we can’t go on until the “storm” subsides. Could it be, however, that just like in Alaska, there’s no such thing as bad life “weather”? Only bad life “gear”?
Jesus Christ came to this Earth and give His life in order to win victory over the forces of evil. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 15:57 ESV). Through Him we have victory!
Through Him we also have all the “gear” we will ever need: “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Eph. 6:14-18 NLT) (For more information about this proper “gear”, check out this previously-published mini-series: God’s Armour!). Our part is simply to “don” that “gear” and walk forward victorious in His name!
I would argue that any time we feel that overwhelming sense of worry, it is related to the fact that part of our armour is not being used to its fullest. Perhaps we have forgotten our “helmet” — we’ve forgotten who we are in Christ. Maybe we are carrying our “shield”, but we are not letting our faith cover us. It is possible that we have our sword in hand, but we aren’t claiming the promises that God’s Word gives us. Possibly we have forgotten to put on our “shoes of readiness” that comes from having God’s peace in our heart. We have perchance forgotten that we are held together by our “belt” — Jesus Christ. Or conceivably we don’t remember that we wear a “breastplate” of righteousness that is not our own, and with Jesus’ righteousness upon us, we have access to the very throne room of God. Our prayers aren’t bouncing off the ceiling at all! They are going directly to the Throne of Grace!
Feeling like the storm is overtaking you? Take a moment to prayerfully examine your “gear”. And then go out and brave that storm, ever knowing there’s no such think as bad “weather”, just bad “gear”!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Associate Director, Moderator, Answers2Prayer Ministries