All of us in Henryville are bracing for what could be some really nasty winter weather over the course of the next forty-eight hours. They’re talking about plunging temperatures, record lows, and significant snowfall. Our Sunday morning services aren’t going to be cancelled, but we’re all watching the weather to see how the coming storm might impact our friends, family members, and church activities (especially on Sunday evening). As a Mississippi boy, I’m “battening down the hatches” for the coldest temperatures I’ve ever felt!
But as we sit here on Saturday, just before the storm blows through tomorrow, I want to encourage you not to waste the winter weather. I want to invite you to be mesmerized by the miracle of a snowstorm, to be transfixed by snowflakes, to be led to worship as winter is put on full display. You see, there is a grand purpose for these storms. God sends blizzards, snowbanks, and icy weather for a reason: to show off his greatness.
In Job 37:5-10, the mysterious figure of Elihu is calling Job and his three friends to meditate on the massive grandeur of God. Listen to what Elihu tells them (and us):
(5)”God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
(6) He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
(7) So that everyone he has made may know his work,
he stops all people from their labor.
(8) The animals take cover;
they remain in their dens.
(9) The tempest comes out from its chamber,
the cold from the driving winds.
(10) The breath of God produces ice,
and the broad waters become frozen…”
Wow. Snowstorms are all about God displaying his sovereignty to people like you and me who have a nasty little tendency to forget it.
Notice what these verses tell us: First, we’re reminded that God is in complete control of the snow. He tells it to fall (v.6). The breath of God produces ice (v.10). There is not one degree on the thermometer that does not fall apart from the command of its creator. There isn’t one billowing cloud that drops a single snowflake one second before God tells it to.
Second, a God who can do all this is beyond our comprehension. “He does great things beyond our understanding” (v.5). Our little minds can’t begin to fathom a God like this. Later in the book of Job, God himself will blow Job’s tiny little mind by reminding him that only God has ever walked into the “storehouses of the snow and the hail” (Job 38:22).
Third, and finally, see and savor God’s glorious purpose for the winter storm: “So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor” (v.7). Snowstorms have a brutal tendency to slam the breaks on our normal plans. The roads get icy, the winds get frigid, and like all of the animals we too are led to take cover and remain in our dens. There’s a reason for all this. These are the moments when God pushes the pause button on our lives and invites us to ponder his greatness, and his goodness. In a world that is cold and dark we’re forced to turn to the Light of the World who stands beyond and behind the graying storm clouds. In a world that seems to be going crazy, we’re reminded that if every snowflake that falls is under his own personal authority and command, then the little details of our own lives that sometimes seem so random and out of control, are really under his care and command as well. There is an eternal and cosmic plan behind the upcoming winter weather, a plan that you’re not going to hear on the television weather alerts, but a plan that is meant for your good and God’s glory.
A snowstorm is coming on Sunday. That’s the day that Christians set aside for the specific purpose of worshiping the King, the Creator, the Sovereign Lord of all that is, was, and ever will be. And the snow isn’t a disruption to that purpose. It is a herald of his glory. It is a snowy signpost to his presence. God is sending it as an usher into his mercies. Don’t miss this opportunity. Don’t neglect this invitation.
Worship the one and only Savior, the Sovereign King of the snow.