I’m ridiculous when I get cold. Anyone who knows me sees my overdramatic reaction when the temperature dips below 65 degrees. I throw on layers of clothes as though I’m preparing for a trip to the Arctic. And let me be clear, I live in Virginia, not Alaska. I’ve lived in climates like this my whole life, but I’m less able than ever to adapt to the cold weather.

As I’m tapping away on my keyboard to write this, I’m wearing fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm. I project my discomfort on everyone around as well, even getting extra blankets ready for my cat, although his fur is probably sufficient. One time in my car, my iPhone actually powered off as it reached a temperature too hot to continue to operate. (And I was running the heat in my car that high in March!) My husband calls this “jungle heat.” If I could be a bear and hibernate through the winter, I would seriously consider doing so.

So how does this relate to the Bible? I’m glad you asked. I didn’t know either until I searched “Bible verses about warmth” and felt a little convicted with the first result. It came from Ecclesiastes 4:11, which says, “If two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” I realized my statement about hibernation was probably not what God had called me to, especially since I’m not a bear. The Ecclesiastes 4: 9–12 passage is a metaphor about the benefit of us being in company with one another — for encouragement, support, protection, and warmth of fellowship. I realized this might be the very season we need to hear this reminder.

It’s a time when we’ve seen division for many reasons. Sometimes, division is biblical when it relates to holding firm to principles. And Romans 8:28 reminds us that it will “all be worked for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” anyway. Yet there’s an important balance here as well. It’s time for believers to cling to one another, even if we must remain physically distant for a while. It’s time to support each other for accountability, prayer, and the warmth that comes to our hearts as we remember we’re not alone.

We weren’t meant to be isolated like hibernating bears. It’s just not what Jesus called us to do. We can rest and, when necessary, divide peacefully, but there is also a time to “embrace” as well, friends. Let’s not forget that in this season where people may need warmth more than ever. The loving fellowship of a brother or sister-in-Christ may be just what someone needs to live well in an environment that discourages us and makes us want to hide out to “bear” it all alone.