Disclosure, I’m not a pastor. I’ve never preached a sermon and I’ve never had to write one either. But if I every had to I think it would go something like this.
My kids went down to Jamaica with their grandparents on vacation for a couple of weeks. I thought, lucky them, but not really. It wasn’t a typical vacation to Jamaica, it was a family visit. My in-laws are from Jamaica and they weren’t staying at a fancy resort. They weren’t staying at a five star hotel. No, they were staying with Aunt Anne and Aunt Boogs. They were staying in a house, a house with no air conditioning, a house on a tropical island with repressive humidity and bugs, lots and lots of bugs. I thought to myself, how are they handling that? They’re not use to that kind of heat being from Ohio. They’re not acclimated to that kind of environment.
As I thought about them in that terrible heat and humidity I thought about the time when my parents moved down to Florida when I was 16. I had made a few friends at school on my first day and they wanted to go play basketball in the park. I was in pretty good shape and loved basketball, so no worries. It was 90 degrees with 90% humidity that day. I played for no more than 2 minutes before I was huffing and puffing trying to catch my breath. I ended up in the bushes on my knees reliving my lunch. The heat and humidity had struck me like a lightning bolt and I was taken out of commission before I even started. A couple months later I went back to play ball in that same park on a day just as hot as the first time. The difference was that I had acclimated myself to the environment and now I could play some ball.
I want you to stop what you’re doing and text 5 people and tell them to “Get Acclimated”. I think about about the mission trip our church took down to Guatemala. They tell you, don’t drink the water, but the natives do. It’s because they’re acclimated to it. I think about football teams that play the Broncos at home and they need to get there a couple days earlier than other cities so they can get acclimated to the elevation. I think about when you jump into a pool and it seems as cold as ice but after a few minutes you get acclimated to it.
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
What it’s saying in Isaiah 40:31 is that if you’re acclimated to our Lord then you can withstand the high heat and humidity of this world. There are two things people do when they’re getting acclimated to something. They either turn around and leave or they submerge themselves in it until they become accustom to it. Then there’s the environment. Too hot, too cold, just right. Sounds like the three bears. But God is not in the business of making our porridge just right. From Abraham to Moses to Jonah to David, God has always been a consistent God who makes you get acclimated to your environment no matter how harsh it might be. I mean, look at Jonah, he had to be eaten by a whale for God to get his point across. Imagine that environment. God will never put you in a situation he can’t get you out of but it’s easier if you’re acclimated to what he’s trying to teach you. Gods not saying it’s going to be easy, he’s not saying you’re not going to get frustrated, God’s not saying it’s going to be perfect but if you acclimate yourself to the book he wrote then your chances will improve ten fold. Get acclimated somebody.
It was the end of March here in Northern Cincinnati and it had been in the 50’s for the past couple of days. A friend of mine asked if I wanted to go golfing. Of course I did. We got to the golf course and it was 55 degrees out. I had worn some jean and a light jacket with a polo under. By the time we made the turn it was 45 degrees and was starting to rain. By the time we were coming up 18 it was 35 degrees and starting to snow. I was freezing my hind end off and I had lost feeling in my fingers. I was acclimating myself to spring but God wasn’t done with winter yet. I found myself caught off guard, cold, wet and angry. I was getting ready for a new season in my life, I was acclimating to a season of warmth and comfort but God said “hold on a minute” You’re getting too comfortable too fast and I got something for you. I find it interesting that Spring has the most unpredictable weather. Spring meaning new can throw you into four different seasons in a matter of a day. That’s southwest Ohio for you. We have a saying around here, if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes. But God stirs something in us like Spring does. In winter you can count on it being cold. In summer you can count on it being warm. In fall you can count on the leaves to change, but in spring you can count on unpredictability.
God says you need to be prepared and he’s got the field guide. If your cold, put on the breast plate of righteousness, put in on and be warm. If your getting rained on use the shield of faith, be dry and do not let the enemy reign on you. If your heads cold put on the helmet of salvation, protect your head and your mind. Get your belt on, get your sword out and get into the gospel. God says be prepared and you won’t be left out in the cold. Be prepared because he has a spring he wants to put in you and if you’re not prepared to go into that environment you’re not going to receive the gift he’s got waiting for you. God is good isn’t he? He’s good all the time.
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Getting acclimated to your church, your bible, your God is the best thing you can do to weather any storm. Living in Florida for 14 years I know a lightning strike can come out of a blue sky. I know from living in Ohio for the past 11 years that you can tee off in spring and finish your round in the dead of winter. Gods word is preparing us for the weather, good or bad. He’s preparing you for the lightning strike that will bring you to your knees but it will not defeat you. He is preparing you for an ice storm that will freeze you to the core. He is the light of the world and that light is warm enough to thaw your frozen heart. He’s giving us all the tools we need now we just need to get acclimated to them. We need to get out and show satan that he doesn’t have a hold on us. God has given us the battle plan and all we need to do is execute it. It’s going to get hot, it’s going to get cold, it’s going to be unpredictable, but God says he’s got our back and if we have faith and trust in him we can do all things through Jesus Christ our savior. We can do all things if we GET ACCLIMATED.
Let us pray. “God give us the strength and determination to open our eyes to all the gifts you have in store for us. Let us wear the armor you have prepared for us in your word. May we weather storms and find hope in spring. May we become more acclimated to you every day. In your name we pray, amen.”