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Listen while you read: "Praise Him Praise Him"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 19:1-2 – The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. (NIV)
Psalm 19 beautifully reminds us of how God speaks to us daily and nightly through His creation, in the heavens and the firmament. There really is something wonderfully peaceful, serene, soothing, and faith-building for many of us, in gazing up into the heavens on a clear starry night.
But as I sit here looking out my window on this wintry day, the only things that I see are millions of snowflakes falling, and a wind with them that is piling up the snow faster than it can be shovelled, and no sign of it stopping for days. We're in the midst of the biggest blizzard of the winter here so far, and it seems so wild and uncontrolled … anything but peaceful. Or maybe it's just the attitude that I'm bringing to it, because, as we all know, when these conditions get bad enough, schools, buses, businesses, and everything else pretty much shuts down. That means postponements and/or cancellations of personal plans and agendas. When that happens, most people, including me for sure, just tend to get frustrated, vexed, and impatient, because my plans have been disrupted! That seems somehow so … well … outrageous to me personally.
I decided to open the Scriptures, and the Lord drew my attention to the book of Job. It's like He guided me straight to some words from Elihu's speech to Job:
Job 37:5-10 – God's voice thunders in marvellous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, "Fall on the earth," and to the rain shower, "Be a mighty downpour." So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labour. The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. (NIV)
This prompted an attitude adjustment that I needed, and continue to need. Notice that God is basically saying that He disrupts our plans and agendas ("stops every man from his labour") through snowstorms or anything else that He chooses, and whenever He chooses, so that everyone whom He has made "may know His work".
And when the Lord Himself takes over from Elihu with His speech to Job in chapters 38 to 41, isn't it something how He continues to emphasize those parts of His creation that are symbols of things so mysterious, powerful, and so uncontrollable, like the huge reptiles — the behemoth and the leviathan?
So the Lord stopped me from travelling to do certain things on my list this day, but then gave me a chance to write down these meditations this morning instead — to Him be the glory!
We need to see the beauty of the Lord in His unfathomable sovereignty speaking to us, even through disturbances like snowstorms! We need to think of each one as yet another point-blank reminder that He is in control, and not we. Then we need to pray for more and more trust and radical dependence on His sufficiency and His grace in our lives — and His agenda. Period.
Prayer: Lord, help us to trust Your sufficiency, Your grace, Your agenda, Your sovereignty, and Your love in every physical circumstance and situation in which we may find ourselves. Thank You. Amen.
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Well said Bruce.
Bruce: Thank you for your words. Blessings.
Thank you so much for these thoughts!
The Lord does move in mysterious ways as he guides us in His work.
AMEN!!!!!!! You said it beautifully and I thank you. God bless you.
(from frigid Ontario)
Thank you Bruce for this gentle reminder. God’s timing perfect as always, as I am reading this I just drove to work in a snow storm. Driving and thinking of plans for today that we will have to cancel. Thank you for sharing
Thank you Bruce. Always a much easier thing to step back and take heed when weather only keeps us inside… a very, very much harder thing to do when earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and such, destroy lives, homes and livelihoods.
Thank you for sharing your winter experience with us who are having such beautiful Spring Like weather, I count my blessings. Perhaps with all this beautiful white stuff God is saying “Be Still And Know That I Am God.”
Yes, God’s plans are perfect, but we humans like to have things our way, no?
Hope you make the most of the cold.
Blessings from Sunny California (Sorry!)
Thank you for this devotional. I will forward it to my daughter who has been seriously affected financially by the extreme weather. I believe it will be an encouragement and brighten her day as it has mine.
Thank you for the humbling and thought provoking meditation Bruce. A good reminder that we are not the centre of the universe.
Thanks for showing us that God has His own time table. I was reminded of the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 – “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. ” (The message ) Do write again; I enjoyed your devotional very much.
I’m sitting here reading your devotion and looking out at, yet some more, now falling. It’s not a raging storm this time. But, as I look out, after the devotion, I just see the beauty. Praise God! The snow won’t keep me inside, but the -10* weather will. Thanks for today’s reading.
My thoughts exactly.