Posted by Mary Ann Cieslak

It’s that time again, time to put away the summer things and take out the winter clothes.  There is something comforting about fall, sweaters and pumpkin spice, falling leaves and wood smoke in the air. Comforting, but with a tinge of sadness.  The natural world is turning inward to guard against the ravages of winter. The green of summer is being replaced by the blaze of color that all too soon will be gone.  Only bare branches will be left through the long cold of winter.  Sometimes our lives can feel the same way, like winter is coming.  We see storm clouds on the horizon and feel that the only safety is in hunkering down and waiting for the worst to hit us.

Just as we make physical preparations for the coming of winter, so too we need to make spiritual preparation for those times when we feel the storms of life bearing down on us.  Waiting until the cold weather catches us without our coats and boots is like waiting until we are in a crisis to strengthen our relationship with God.  Now is the time to turn to Him, to listen for His voice and to grow in His love.  If we spend time in prayer, study, Christian fellowship, and the other activities that John Wesley defined as the “means to grace;” our relationship will be strong and able to withstand any storm. We can wrap ourselves in the love of God and know that we are safe and warm.

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