Before Winter Blows In: Sustaining Your Faith With His Daily Bread.
As the days grow colder down here in Australia, and we head toward the winter season, I find I just want to eat bread – and lots of it! I feel that my body needs fuelling up ready for the energy it’s going to need to stay warm before winter blows in. And as we dust off our winter coats and jackets and find comfort in the thought of cuddling up with a good book on a cold, winter’s night is far more appealing than reading one at the beach, we find a sense of belonging within these simple pleasures.
Perhaps this is why Paul asks for his coat and books when he knew his time here on earth was coming to a close? The book of 2 Timothy is probably the last letter Paul wrote in his imprisonment in Rome. His lament towards the end of the letter is one of abandonment and sadness because he lists all the people who have deserted him. In his suffering, he proclaims that even though no one defended him or supported him in his hour of need he didn’t hold it against them and asks young Timothy to bring his cloak and scrolls – especially the parchments. Paul perhaps needs these things for a sense of comfort as he awaits his execution, and then he asks Timothy to try his best to come before winter blows in. 12“On your way here, pick up the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and bring the scrolls – especially the parchments…21Try to come before winter blows in.” (2 Timothy 4:12-21)
Winter was a dangerous time to travel across the Mediterranean Sea, and Paul knew that if Timothy didn’t get to him before winter blew in, then he probably wouldn’t be able to travel at all. It was a “now or never” type of request. Dungeons were cold and damp and Paul needed some comforts from home to sustain him. We’ll never truly know what was written on the parchments and scrolls Paul asked for but perhaps it was parts of the Old Testament Paul needed to sustain his faith with what little time he had left. He decided that a good, thick winter coat and the word of God, which was his daily bread, was all he needed before winter blew in.
I wonder when the tempest winds of winter try to blow us off course in our faith, do we sustain it with God’s daily bread? Do we let His love wrap around us like a thick, winter coat? Are these the things we ask for when we feel abandoned or when nobody is there to defend us? Are we fuelling ourselves daily so we can keep the fire of our faith burning before the winter blows in?
Many times, my faith has been tested by the icy winter winds of desertion and abandonment that have tried to extinguish the fire of God within me. Your enemy wants you to fall for the lie that you’re alone, abandoned and unwanted. He wants to think that you have no covering before the winter blows in. Don’t let your faith die of malnourishment because you’re not sustaining it in the daily bread of God’s word. Don’t let the bitter, winter winds of disappointment make you leave your coat behind when you need it to keep the Holy Spirit fire burning within you.
If you’ve found that the temperature has dropped in your faith and you no longer feel the warm tingles of passion for God, ask for two things,
- The coat of God’s covering to shield you and to bring back the warmth and feeling you experienced when you first got saved before the winter blew in.
- A daily hunger for the bread of God’s word to sustain you for when the icy, winter winds begin to howl around you.
Don’t give up on God because, with a good winter coat, He’ll wrap you in His presence and His daily bread will help sustain your faith through the bleak months. Trust me, you’ll see the first buds of spring in your faith in no time!