My owner and his wife are recently back from a trip to Norway where they went to see the Northern lights and to try their hand at dog sledging. The Lights didn’t put on their best performance for them, but the dog sledging more than lived up to expectations. Because dogs are a lot less intelligent than parrots, it’s easy for humans to persuade them that an onerous task is fun, so that’s how humans get themselves a free sledge ride! (Have I just upset every human reader with a dog? My owner and his wife have two here as well.)
Of course, humans are rather sad creatures with very little in the way of fur and feathers to keep them warm, so they have to make their own artificial coverings in order to stay cosy. And in Norway, there’s an old saying which goes like this:
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, -only bad clothes.”
In other words, it’s everyone’s responsibility to be prepared for whatever weather comes their way. Being pulled along by dogs on a frozen landscape means that wise humans will be wearing just about every layer of clothing that they possess, including a wind and water-proof outer covering.
Good clothing helps a great deal, but there will always be some forms of weather which go beyond the limits of any fur, hair or natural fibre. I’m thinking of tornadoes and hurricanes or the most extreme of temperatures. And it’s rather like this in Life as well.
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians talks about the need for us to put on the “Armour of God” to protect us from harm and danger. And the armour is our faith, our trust and our belief in Jesus as our Saviour. Because this type of armour helps us to avoid some of the pitfalls and temptations which surround us in this world. It’s not armour which can prevent bad things from happening to us, but it helps us to better deal with the troubles and suffering that can afflict us in this life. And it’s armour which offers us light at the end of the tunnel. And while all this is going on, God can take everything that’s happening to us, -both good and bad, -and use it all to shape and mould us into the beings that He desires. So long as you’re wearing ‘the right clothes.’
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6: 10-11)
“Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteous in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”