In the four-season climate where I live, three of which are chilly, I find myself pulled by an irresistible urge to shop for sweaters all year.

Last year, if a professor quizzed me, “What are the basic needs of humans?”

“Simple,” I reply. “Food, water, shelter, and sweaters.”

One fashionable fitted garment in just the right color caught my eye. The end-of-season price was a bargain-hunters dream. I seized it and held it tightly while I sprinted between customers to the cash register.

On the first wearing, someone commented, “That color looks beautiful on you!”

I beamed.

The next time, I noticed it had gotten bigger. A friend asked me,
“Have you lost weight?” I liked that, too.

On the third wearing, it expanded another few sizes, and the cuffs hung to my knees. The chic sweater was now roomy enough for a woman pregnant with twins. Though I like to think of myself as “29 and still looking good,” when menopause set in, I stopped needing a maternity shirt. “Oh, well, sweaters like this are always good as sleep shirts in the winter.”

But with the next washing and wearing, it became big enough to cover my five-burner gas barbeque. Another wearing and the size ten could now be used as a car cover.

Sweaters, fashion, and car covers change, but not God.

Psalmist David wrote “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” [Psalm 18:2 NIV]

Think about a foundation of rock. Building foundations are filled with steel and cement—essentially rock. In arctic permafrost, the house-sized hole is filled first with tons of gravel–crushed rock.

God is a rock and foundation for us. He does not change. He is always there for shelter, protection, and a foundation in our changing lives. In a world where boundaries and sizes change, God doesn’t. He gives our lives and spirit stability.

So if a professor asks what are the basic needs of humans, remembering my unchanging God, today I will reply,

“God, food, water, shelter, and sweaters!”

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on]