Beware of Hypothermia

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19

Patrick Laundy was lost. He was on a school excursion in the Drakensberg Mountains, had wandered away from his classmates, and couldn’t find his way to the campsite. As dusk came and went he was stumbling around in sub-zero temperatures with clothing that was inadequate against the biting cold. But he tottered on, and as he did he realized that he didn’t feel quite as cold as he had before. In fact he felt strangely euphoric and there was now a tingly warmth to his body.

Later, one of Patrick’s friends opened the door of their mountain hut and discovered Patrick sitting outside and blathering away. He was quickly brought inside and it was obvious he was suffering from severe hypothermia. Fortunately for Patrick he attended a school which offered outdoor pursuits as part of the curriculum. The young men in the hut were trained for such an eventuality.

Without wasting time they stripped off his damp clothes, pushed him into a thermal sleeping bag and established a regimen of treatment. Throughout the rest of the night they took turns undressing, climbing in with Patrick, and holding him tightly in order to facilitate the transfer of their body heat. They also kept him awake and urged him to stay focused and hang in.

The next day qualified medical assistance arrived and the doctor confirmed that their efforts had saved Patrick’s life.

It was special. Because of the efforts of his fellow students, Patrick’s desk in the Geography class was once again filled as I attempted to coach him through his final year of high school.

Not many of us are likely to get hypothermia. But it is possible for believers to wander away from intimacy with the Lord and succumb to a spiritual hypothermia. The symptoms of this spiritual hypothermia are described in the final book of the New Testament where it records how the ailing person has “deeds . . . that are neither cold nor hot (but) lukewarm” Revelation 3:15-16. Furthermore, the person has a distorted euphoria for she or he does “not realize that (she or he is) wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” Revelation 3:17.

But the good news is that no one need suffer with spiritual hypothermia. If you need treatment, turn to the Word. “Be earnest and repent” Revelation 3:19. That’s the cure. No more, no less. Spiritual hypothermia is overcome when a person repents.

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