Winter is a season for which many must spend a lot of time and effort preparing. Food from the harvests is preserved, wood is chopped and left out to dry, hay for the animals is rolled into bales and covered in bags to protect it from the weather. The preparations have to take place while there is still time, while the conditions are still good, before the winter sets in. We know winter is coming, but we don't know when that first snowfall will be. If we are lazy and presume we have more time then we could get caught out. 

"Don't store up treasures on earth!... Instead, store up your treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:19-20, CEV)

"be like men who are waiting for their master to come home... You... must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Luke 12:36,40, ESV)

"But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief... So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled" (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6, NIV)

"So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields" (Matthew 9:38, NLT)

We can prepare ourselves in better times so that we are ready when hard times come. We can cultivate patterns of behaviour, nourish our relationship with God and others so that we have reserves to draw on in the leaner times. But, we must not lose sight of the fact that all of this life is in some way a preparation for the season of judgement and renewal that is to come. We prepare not just for a rainy or snowy day, but for eternity.

Are you preparing for this each day? Are we ready for Christ's return? How might you prepare yourself and others today?