View from our front window this morning.
First real snow of the season came last night. It was several inches, depending on where you measure, but this was the wet, HEAVY stuff. Heavy enough to bring down branches from our trees (including cracking one of the nice main branches of the little dogwood at the corner of our house); heavy enough to cause power outages in Warsaw, though not at our home; heavy enough to make shoveling a pain. This morning with sunshine and rising temperatures, I am hearing the thud of chunks of snow hitting the ground. All in all it wasn't that major of a weather event. Although school is canceled today.
There are all sorts of lessons we could learn, but a friend's facebook status made me think of one in particular. She said, "It bothers me when people who claim to be Christians still refer to Mother Nature when talking about weather related events. Is it really that hard to acknowledge God in something as basic as the weather?" Good question. I hope not. The God with whom we have to do is in sovereign control over all things. Including the weather. The snow that fell and branches that cracked did so at his decree. If we take the weather out of his hands, we also take out of his hands the ability to use that weather for our good; to restore and to heal those broken and mourning because of it. To leave it in the hands of chance (or mother nature) is to remove all possibility of comfort, hope, or purpose in it. When the weather comes do you rest in God's sovereign hands, chalk it up to chance, or shake your fist at him because of the inconvenience or even tragedy it brings?
What about things more significant than the weather? These are in his hands too. What a comfort to know that it is God who does the work of salvation and not me; he takes away my sin and guilt. Here is true freedom and peace. Denying God's sovereignty has tragic consequences for our ability to navigate this life with peace, confidence, and joy. May we rest in his perfect, wise, good, sovereign power today and every day.
Some of you know this about me: I typically spend some part of Mondays at Martin's Supermarket Side Door Deli. From my table in the 2nd level dining area I can see people come and go, talk with folks, having meetings, prep for Wednesday and Sunday, and on a day like today watch a nice storm roll in. There are other perks - wireless internet, greater visibility in the community than when I am shut away in my study in my house, one of the best salad bars I've seen, a Starbucks coffee, and muffins. I'm a sucker for the muffins. The standing deal is that if you stop by and see me, I'll get you a coffee or muffin.
Which brings me to the subject of speaking clearly. You may have noticed some ambiguity in the title of this post. It could be about enunciating words distinctly. Or it could be about speaking in such a way that the meaning is clear. It is the latter that I am thinking of. In talking with people I have often said something like "On Mondays, I work over at Martins." Or before Martin's came to town, it was Courthouse Coffee. I have found out that more than one person has taken that to mean that I was actually employed by Martin's Supermarket (or Courthouse Coffee) and was working a 2nd job there. That is not what I meant. I meant that I pack up my laptop, some books, notes, etc. and do church planting work from a table in Martin's instead of at my desk in my study. Imagine some of our church folks trying to figure out why I was working a second job!
All this to say that it is important to speak clearly; I mean it is important to make your meaning plain when you speak. That's true whether your a preacher, a parent, or a Martin's employee. So stop by and see me some Monday. Just don't expect to find me behind the counter.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.