A few years ago, winter temperatures across North America plummeted. The Ozark Mountains were no exception. Daytime reached only a few degrees above zero (fahrenheit). As temperatures fell, the price of propane, which we use too heat our home, skyrocketed. I was one of many who couldn’t afford it. We went from Christmas until the spring with only a couple electric heaters.
Although I remember waking up in the middle of many nights, shivering in the cold, we didn’t ask for government assistance, nor did we ask help of any church. God took care of us. I was suffering from cancer that winter, but I was months away from diagnosis. Miraculously, our water pipes never froze, we suffered no excessive flu bugs or other viruses. We dressed warmly and cuddled under blankets, and toughed it out. I prayed a lot. God protected us.
At the end of January, business took my wife and I to St. Louis for four days where we stumbled upon a dozen or so homeless men and women living under a freeway near downtown. We didn’t have much, but we were able to help them in a very small way. I realized then that, comparatively, we were well off.
I was scared that winter, but God is in my side. Even if God had let me freeze to death, or even if I would have lost my life to cancer, I would not want anyone to think that God had failed me. We will all die someday, but it is not the end. Death is but a beginning and this life a mere foreshadow of that which is to come. A few years of suffering in this life is a mere wisp of time compared to eternity with my Creator. I no longer fear; not like I once did.
Let those who fear the Lord now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
– Psalm 118:4-8