The recent weather forecast is chilling! Freezing temps with sub-zero wind chill, snow, and possible ice. Just the anticipation sends chills down my spine! The “what ifs” suddenly take center stage. What if the power goes out? What if we can’t get out? What if we are inconvenienced in some way? After all, who wants to go there? Who wants to put up with all that? I mean, really! And so, I start preparing…the fridge is stocked with food, warm blankets are in place just in case, and battery-powered lanterns are tested. I am prepared and ready. Incredibly, I am told that those who live in places where sub-zero temps are commonplace think nothing about it. It is just a way of life for them. They never stop to think about how cold it is. They’ve just gotten used to it!
As strange as that sounds to me, it reminds me of a time when the front porch of our former home in Damascus sat only a few feet away from Route 58, the main thoroughfare that ran through our little town. The traffic was constant and loud. When we decided to downsize, an interested party stood outside in the yard after taking a tour of the home and asked, “Doesn’t this traffic bother you?” I paused for a moment before I answered. I had never stopped to think about how loud it was. I had gotten used to it and never heard it or was bothered by it.
Truth be told, I don’t know if I would ever get used to extremely cold weather unlike the traffic in front of my former home. However, there are more pressing matters where my senses may have been dulled. The daily news reminds us of happenings that reflect an encroaching darkness – darkness that is coming at us at an ever-increasing intensity. Sex trafficking, sexual and physical abuse, substance abuse, greed, adultery, spiritual illiteracy, racism, breakdown of the family…DARKNESS! And the question arises, “What am I doing about it?” “Have I turned a deaf ear?” As in my case with traffic, “Have I just gotten used to it?”
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, again the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Knowing that Satan is the creator of darkness, as well as our tendency to be complacent to this darkness that seeks to blind us, it is critical that we focus on strategies to combat the “cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil.” And so, we pray for divine vision to see evil for what it is, the ability to counter hate with love, to effectively share the Light that dispels this darkness, to be faithful warriors bearing the armor of God in this battle: “the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.” (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Horrific things happen when forecasts are ignored. May it never be said of God’s children that we have gotten used to the darkness around us and have never thought about turning on the Light!
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” – John 12:46