“There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Spoken by a man who worked on the polar ice cap in weather ranging to more than minus 50 degrees, quoted in Al Gore’s companion book to the movie, An Inconvenient Truth. After my daily walk outside through Illinois
winters, I understand why he says that. We can endure any weather if we are dressed for it. At 30 degrees, I wear fleece-lined jeans. At zero degrees, I add long johns. Here, it doesn’t get a lot colder than that, but if I worked at 50 degrees below zero, I’d add several more layers. It’s not our environment that is the problem. If we put on the right clothes, we can endure the worst weather the planet throws at us.
Similarly, it is not what happens to us that is the problem. How we dress ourselves makes all the difference. When someone gets angry with us, do we put on the garment of anger, too? When others laugh at us, do we put on the garment of shame? If we are mugged on a city street, do we don the clothing of fear? Anger, shame, and fear are the clothing that we provide for ourselves. God, however, provides a whole closet full of finer quality clothing that protects us when the weather turns cold. He gives garments of forgiveness, self-respect, and courage to shield us in the storms. Our attempts to clothe ourselves fall short. We need to wear his clothing when the weather rages around us.
Jesus, please take our old garments of anger, shame, and fear and fit us for your garments of forgiveness, self-respect, and courage.