Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
Last week I shared about the trials and tribulations of snow blowing with a blower that was experiencing some mechanical challenges that would test the saints' patience – of which I am not one. As with all things
mechanical, there was an undignified end to a friend that had served faithfully for over 16 memorable Minnesota winters. True, there had been necessary modifications to continue the service life right up to this winter. I like to think that these modifications gave "Matilda" her own unique persona. But, alas, since the last update, she had suffered another mechanical difficulty. Was it terminal? No, not really, but Cathy and I have better things to do in our mature years than spending hours outside in the cold performing surgery to keep the patient going. On the plus side, we followed the local chamber of commerce solicitation to support our local businesses. Hence, our local dealer reaped the benefit of our relatively
immediate need for a new, as yet-to-be-named, snowblower. This contemporary marvel of technological advances includes a broader, more powerful machine that eagerly clears a clean path to be enjoyed. Cathy
actually loves to snow blow the driveway. A wife who loves to snow blow, how I have been so blessed.
Being the last day of 2020, I had considered an encouragement that would meet the obligatory requirements to observe the out-going of the old and the beginning of the new. I had it all lined up to use the example of the old and the new snowblower and describing excellent past service and anticipated future service. Pretty good idea, right? That was all before the call late last night. There was a need to go out and travel up the shore. This is typically not an issue, but last night the projected 1-3" of snow eventually became more like 8 inches. The challenge was the plows had not been up the highway yet, or if they had, it had been quite a while. The first several miles were no issue as I had traveled them so often and
was familiar with the road and terrain. However, north of Gooseberry State Park and the situation changed. It was difficult to see where others had driven as the tracks had been covered up. The snow was blowing, and visibility was reduced to 50 feet or less, and I slowed down to 30 mph. When there were lights from businesses or on-coming traffic, I could make out the faint telltale signs of earlier vehicles. But at midnight, there are few lights and even less traffic to assist me. How significant a small thing like a light became. At times snow swirled around the truck so that I seemed to be encased in a darkened snow globe with only a vague reference as to where I was. Imagine the relief as I came into the reassuring lights of Beaver Bay and knew where I was. It only took 40 minutes to come 16 miles. However, the evening was not done. A person needed assistance and had no immediate means to provide what they needed. Hence, they reached out and asked for help from the county, resulting in a late-night call. What
makes this relevant is that there was a meeting of a need and a provision. I was only a conduit. An incredibly gracious Christian colleague, farther up the shore, offered the safety and comfort of his home for the person in need. The person requiring assistance received the most essential requirements for the evening – a meal, warm bed, and a caring individual's fellowship to help them. Me, I was just praying for enough lights along the way to safely get home.
Last week we celebrated the light of Christmas that God provided for all of us in Jesus. There are desperate times in our lives when we urgently need and seek that light, because otherwise we may be lost in the dark with uncertainty all about us. Let 2021 be your year to continue in that light, or let it be the year you accept the light of God.
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
John 8:12 (NIV
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
May you be blessed by God's word, and Happy New Year! Chris