Early Friday morning, I was praying for those in the shadow of the blizzard that pummeled much of the country with snow, ice, wind, and flooding. By now, we have an account of the deaths. No one, but God, understands the untold misery that fell in the path of this storm. One of my sons was scheduled to drive on Interstate 75 the day traffic backed up 35 miles. Kentucky State Troopers reported that over 500 people spent 24 hours in the cold. Thankfully, my son stayed warm at home with his family, though many were not so fortunate.
As I was meditating, I thought of well-intentioned believers that might attribute God’s judgment to such an event, perhaps citing the evil of Washington, D.C. as a reason for the blizzard. Many believers throughout the country were hurt by the storm, as well. It’s easy to forget that God promised Abraham that He would spare Sodom if only ten righteous people were found within the city, (Genesis 18). This storm is not God’s judgment.
Even the Winds Obey Him
God has created such a remarkable universe, that entire branches of science have spent centuries detecting, measuring and explaining the wonders, as best they can. Miraculously inter-related systems encompass us. About ten years ago, Tennessee experienced a terrible drought, and I promised God I’d never complain about rain again. I can testify that the delicate balance of sun, temperature and rain are most appreciated after experiencing extremes of weather.
As a matter of course, this world turns like a finely jeweled clock. If you are a believer, the wisdom and care with which the earth has been formed cries, “Glory” to our God. Though He regulates His Creation through physical laws, God clearly has the authority to make exceptions to those rules. One night Jesus was making the seven-mile voyage across the Sea of Galilee with His disciples.
“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing!’ He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, ‘What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’ “ (Matthew 8: 24-28 NASB).
Confusing Life with Judgment
Some were hurt more by this blizzard than others. It’s an old problem; foolishness can lead us to presume that our survival is merited by “clean living.” Nevertheless, Jesus is very clear that all of us are in the same position of need before God. Bad things, such as blizzards, are no proof of God’s judgment or God’s blessing.
“Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’ ” (Luke 13:1-5 NASB).
Children of Our Father
We know that God formed the Universe to operate in a natural order. By the same token, Jesus demonstrated the authority to command even the winds as He wished. We must assume that if He so chooses, God has the authority and the power to use the weather for judgment. How can we be assured that this is not God’s way?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48 NASB).
Do we accept the fact that Jesus instructs us to love our enemies as a demonstration of God’s love? In this verse, Jesus illustrates the Father’s love in sharing the sun and rain with both the good and the evil. In fact, the weather becomes His parable of God’s mercy, not an opportunity for judgment. Please pray with me for those who are still recovering from this storm. In doing so, we are living as children of our Father.