Brenda’s Blog – August 1, 2017
“Come before winter” – Apostle Paul
Rick Southerland, BWF’s media director, emailed me: “The August 1st blog post will be your 100th – make it something good.” No pressure, right? So, I thought about nifty spins on 100 – without success. Then I did what I tell others to do – write about what God is teaching you.
For months I planned (and re-planned) a trip to West Virginia to see a dying friend. Details kept changing and I kept working for the ideal schedule. I wrote her saying I wanted to be there with her. I kept hearing Paul’s words from prison to Timothy repeating, “Make every effort to come before winter.” Paul knew if Timothy and Mark didn’t arrive in the next few months he would not see them on this earth. He certainly didn’t doubt the eternal reunion, but he longed for their physical presence.
My friend died a few days ago. She was surrounded by her family and many friends who loved her. She was not sitting in a cold dungeon, aching for the comfort of friends. But I didn’t get there before her winter. Yes, I will see her again in heaven – but I missed the opportunity to hug her, tell her I loved her, and thank her for all her life meant to me.
Why do I choose this for such a milestone? Simply because it points out the fragility of life and the moments which pass quickly. Life gallops these days – no slow sauntering along. We are caught up in the rush of daily-ness. Perhaps it is good to stop regularly, catching up with those we love and taking a reading on the status of our relationships.
Appreciation doesn’t have to be formal. A casual visit, a short card, a quick phone call – all give us an opportunity to be grateful. Notice the commonality in that list? They are all old school forms of communication. At some deeper level, our social media culture doesn’t satisfy the longing Paul expressed for human interaction.
Winters don’t have to be death. They can be emotional losses, physical struggles, business setbacks, or spiritual crises. Our friends send out “come before winter” signals. It is our joy and privilege to respond with the love of Jesus.
What is God teaching you right now? What is He writing on your heart? Who needs to hear it? And blessings on you as you answer the “come before winter” calls in your life.