Faith: Keep looking up

Patricia Jones

How can we manage this winter? It’s been so snowy and cold which means we are all using extra heat to keep our homes warm.

I know my home’s heating bill was at least one-third higher than the highest bill we’ve ever experienced before. How can we manage this month? January has been particularly eventful with so much snow.

Snow removal in town and in the county has been great, but people still get stuck and can’t get to work. It’s hard to get it all shoveled. Personally, we’ve struggled at our house because our plow needs repaired and even our neighbor’s plow needs repaired.

We’ve had so much snow in our community that roofs need shoveled (Love INC has had distress calls from several of our vulnerable seniors who can’t do this for themselves anymore). How can we manage today?

Today, I am writing this on Tuesday, the low temperature at my house was minus 47 degrees Fahrenheit. Often cars and trucks can’t get started at this extremely low temperature and people can’t get to work or to the doctor or store. How can we manage with all of this extreme seasonal stress added to our regular daily stress levels?

The only way to manage is to keep looking up to God and look to the wealth that God has provided. It may be financial wealth or it may be another type of wealth.

Jesus taught his disciples about relying on financial wealth. Jesus had spoken to the rich young man who wanted to know how to be good enough to enter Heaven. The rich young man was sad — he was afraid to try to make it in the world without his financial wealth.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. …’ The disciples were astounded. ‘Then who in the world can be saved?’ they asked.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible’” (Matthew 19:23-26, NLT).

You and I are probably wealthy when compared to the majority of the world’s population. According to, “The median worldwide income is $2,800 per year, according to Giving What We Can. That means half the households in America makes more than 25 times the median worldwide income.”

So then some of us are probably “rich” and just need to realign our budgets to meet these additional needs brought on by our seasonal stresses.

However, while most of us aren’t anywhere near “rich” financially (median income doesn’t mean median expenses), we all have the opportunity to be rich in the other resources God provides. Look up to him and keep looking up.

While Jesus was mainly teaching about Salvation, the last part of his message can encourage us in our daily lives. So when we have to tighten our budget to pay those higher utility bills, we should not neglect to use the other resources available. Maybe you could get a second job (snow removal is in high demand right now) or apply for help with Love INC or another helping agency.

If you have your health (a gift from God), shovel your snow and maybe even help your neighbor with theirs. And in the extremely cold temperatures, if your car starts (such a blessing), give your neighbor a ride to work. Keep looking up, share with others and be a blessing to them, and don’t forget to thank God for the blessings he sends to us in every season.

I received a blessing today so I am thanking God for sending someone to plow the sidewalk and driveway at Love INC. Keep looking up!

Patricia Jones is the executive director of Love INC of the Yampa Valley. She can be reached at 970-826-4400.

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