If you are struggling more than usual this year with cabin fever, welcome to the world of this former Buffalonian. February “meh” is an annual occurrence there because there is usually five feet of snow on the ground by February first with no end in sight. The wind chill is a stunning -10 or lower on a daily basis, and winter doesn’t end until April. But be of good cheer; this isn’t Buffalo! It will be over before you know it.
The good news is that while you wait, you CAN beat it—armed with some ingenuity and the Bible.
The final step to surviving the dead of winter is Action Forward. It is not enough to just acknowledge the “here” and grow in your awareness of “there.” Your choices are to either wallow in Meh-bruary or get to work. You can change it into an energized, hope-filled month instead of a “gain 10 pounds” month while binge-watching “The Crown.”
First, deal with the “ations”- the agitation, aggravation, and frustration of being stuck with the choices of cooping yourself up until spring or going outside and freezing to death. Here is a suggestion: layers. No kidding. If you dress for the weather and wear cold-killing clothes, you will be amazed at how powerful you feel when you walk to the mailbox yelling, “Take that Old Man Winter. You can’t stop ME!” Once you get past the irritation of taking 12 minutes to get all those layers on, the joy of being outside and not being miserable outweighs the effort of getting ready. In just a few days, you will be even more encouraged and energized because your walks will actually start lasting longer than your prep time.
Second, stop letting your grumpy inner self feed you lines about what a miserable human being you are, what a lousy job you do serving God, etc., etc., etc. Instead, before engaging in your daily internal dialogue, ask yourself if what you are saying is going to bring life and vitality to your day. Or, is it going to sap you of your joy and hope? Have you ever noticed that when nights are long, days are gloomy, and when something in your life goes wrong, that voice in your head helpfully offers up, “you idiot” to define your worth? Before it happens again, get prepared.
Psalm 139:14, 17 (NIV)
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well … 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Memorize these verses while you take that warm walk on a cold day or the next time you start feeling like a loser.
One more action directive from God’s Word:
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 (NIV)
14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
If you choose to live out these verses daily instead of succumbing to the winter blues, you will be busy and rejoicing all the way to springtime, being blessed and blessing others every day.
Does your joy and enthusiasm come to a screeching halt this time of year? What do you do to overcome it? If the answer to the previous question is “nothing,” what are you waiting for?
Read Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
As Christ followers, Jesus sets the vision for our life and reminds us that the joy awaiting us is what helps us endure what we are experiencing today.
Take a moment and journal about the vision Jesus has for your life and the joy that is ahead of you. How does that help you endure the difficult aspects of your current season in life? If you have difficulty describing Jesus’ vision for your life, consider attending GrowthTrack. For information about GrowthTrack at your local campus, go to www.cedarcreek.tv/growthtrack.
Hello Lord, thank you for loving me more than I can even understand. I am always amazed and humbled that you demonstrated this love for us in that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV). Please help me to live out that love in all that I do for both myself and others. Please help me to use your Word to change how I think about myself and others. Please help me to be motivated to fight cabin fever with action and by living out your directives in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
This post was written by Martha Preckler. Martha loves Jesus and growing closer to him every day. She loves serving on the Sparkle Team and Greeter Team, as a Landing Leader, GrowthTrack hostess, and fill-in writer for LIO. Martha is the grateful mother of two grown sons and one daughter-in-law. Both sons are good writers, but one is a published urban fantasy writer and self-proclaimed grammar dictator, which he swears he picked up from his mother. She has been a Toledo Business Journal contributor, speech writer, as well as creator of dozens of promotional pieces for seniors’ events and programming offer by the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo.
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