What I Learned from a Squirrel

“In this world you will have trouble…” 
Jesus Christ, John 16:33

I have recently observed an incredibly busy squirrel in my backyard.  He has but one thing on his mind.

Preparing for winter. 

He’s burying his treasure in anticipation of harder days ahead. He knows instinctively that the snow is coming.  Trees will no longer bear their fruit.  Better work now, for the day is coming when no squirrel can work. 

I can learn a lot from that squirrel.  

When my life’s days are sunny, I need to enjoy them, but never forget. It won’t always be this way. Winter is coming. Seasons of pain and struggle are a normal part of my life in this fallen world. They are in yours too. Jesus told us it would be so.

Thinking about that can be a real downer. But, it doesn’t have to be. Jesus didn’t tell us that trouble was coming to make us sad or worried. He told us so we could prepare and have hope.

In the good times, it is easier to set God aside, get busy with other things. In hard times, I can be forced by pain to seek God, but sometimes I find that the pain clouds my perspective on the truth. If I have not spent time focusing, praying and thinking about the truth in the good times, temptation to doubt and forsake it may come in the bad.

I need to bury the “treasure” of God’s Word in my heart on the warm days so that it is available to me when life grows cold and troublesome.  

Just a few of those precious nuggets include:

  • I am counted righteous, forgiven through faith and not works. (Romans 4:5)
  • God will never leave or abandon me. (Hebrews 13:5)
  • Nothing can separate me from God’s love. (Romans 8:38–39)
  • God will supply all of my needs. (Philippians 4:19)
  • God has given my life purpose and meaning and will fulfill it. (Psalm 57:2)

Jesus told us to anticipate trouble in this life, but he also told us that it need not overcome us because he has overcome it (John 16:33). I can make it through the tough times intact as I lean into him and feed on his word.

I don’t know how Mr. Squirrel will possibly remember just where he has buried all of his summer treasure in my backyard when the winter snow flies. But I do know where I can find the truth I have hidden in my heart, stored up for help and spiritual nourishment when the days grow dark and painful.

How about you?  What hope do you have stored up for the winter days to come? How are you working to bury that treasure in your heart?