What do ants and Solomon have in common? Wisdom.
“Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt (1 Kings 4:30).”
“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer (Proverbs 30:24-25).”
Why do I care about that little fact? Will I ever be a king? No. Will I ever be an ant? No! But the ant teaches me an important lesson. Be prepared.
This winter we’re getting slammed with snowstorms. I just cleared snow off our cars. Again. Whew! Now I can rest.
Yesterday I got my invitation to join the preparedness party. Local meteorologists sent this announcement:
Who: All ‘guests’ living in the northeastern section of the US
What: Another impressive storm: a massive clipper system, followed by an arctic blast
When: All day Tuesday and into Wednesday morning
Host: God would provide the decorations. Snow and plenty of it.
Dress: Layers of clothing, boots, hats, mittens…
I joined all the invited ‘guests’ who headed straight to the food stores to stock up. I wound my way through crowded aisles grabbing all the items on my list. The expressions on people’s faces said, “I’m so done with all this snow. Enough!”
Getting ready for storms requires certain rituals. We reluctantly engage in them. Experience has taught us it’s wise to be prepared. We can weather the storm if we’ve planned ahead.
How ‘bout the storms of life? Do we prepare for them? Hardly. Most people don’t even entertain thoughts about facing a trial. But mental illness (MI) forces us to expect anything. It can hit any day or any minute. A child with MI can be unpredictable.
Often it seems turbulence in the home (due to MI) can’t be controlled any more than swirling winds in the sky. Are there things we can do to minimize the impact of an emotional storm? Yes.
Stockpiling would be the recommended strategy. During calmer days, load up on Bible verses. Mentally fill all the corners of your brain with passages from scripture. Then when troubles come, God’s Word will sustain you.
During some of our most horrific moments, it wasn’t possible to sit and read my Bible. Dangerous situations dictated that I stay alert. Often, in the midst of a crisis, a verse popped into my head. One that comforted me. Verses like:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39).”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3).”
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).”
Word to the wise: be ready for anything. The time to prepare is now. Feast on His Word. Then, just as I rested after clearing off the cars, rest—in Him.
Only our Lord can prepare our hearts. Reflect on His perfect work in you as you listen to ‘Sanctuary.’