“Have you ever traveled to where snow is made, seen the vault where hail is stockpiled, The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness for times of trouble and battle and war? Can you find your way to where lightning is launched, or to the place from which the wind blows?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew, the mother of ice and frost? You don’t for a minute imagine these marvels of weather just happen, do you?
Job 38: 22-24, 29-30 The Message
Weather forecasting is inexact. Therefore, many weather sites and apps give a range of expected outcomes, or percentage chances. For instance, how often have we heard of a 50 percent chance of rain? What that means is that regardless of whether or not the rain arrives, the weather forecast can be said to be accurate! The forecast Wednesday night was a winter storm warning. There is no doubt that was correct. However, the forecast was to expect perhaps up to 16”. We had 22” at our home! The meteorologists were correct, but not 100%. Only God knew the exact amount of snow we would get.
The truth is that many events in the natural world remind us of how little we completely know and understand about God’s creation. While we are constantly learning more about the marvels of this planet, we can never fully know all that God knows. When it comes to predicting the future, the very best we can offer is an educated guess. While we are called to take care of His creation, The Lord ultimately controls it.
Here, Job has been arguing with God. Poor Job has lost everything in his life: his health, his wealth, the respect of his wife, and that of many other people. He is distraught. He knows that he doesn’t deserve such treatment, and he has taken his case up with God. Essentially, he asks, “Why me, God?”, along with a healthy dose of “It is not fair!”
These verses are part of God’s response to Job. The Lord reminds Job that His creation is far more complex, and nuanced than Job supposes it to be. It is almost as if Job is asking, “What in the world is going on when my life has turned to garbage? You don’t even care!” God’s response is “What do you know about running the world?”
Our creator talks about being in charge of “storehouses of snow”, from which he decides to dump upon us occasionally (like the last couple of days!). The imagery reminds me of a contemporary Christian song we sing in worship, “Indescribable,” by Chris Tomlin. Some of the lyrics are as follows:
“Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go? Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow? Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light? Yet, conceals it to bring us the coolness of night? None can fathom
Indescribable, uncontainable, You placed the stars in the sky And You know them by name. You are amazing, God”
Job’s eventual response, in Chapter 42, is to admit his error, and to repent. He says:
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head.”
Job 42: 2-3 The Message
While all this has happened, two things have occurred. First, God has reminded Job that it is He who decides what will happen in the world. The second is that although Job has lost all that was earthly important to him, he is still the man God knew him to be. What a testimony for all of us! When we are at the end of our rope, God is still there. He is just waiting for us to acknowledge who He is. Let us ask Him to take our hand, hold on to us, and walk with us through every stage of our lives.
May the wonders of God’s creation always remind us of both how small we are, and how great and mighty God is. He truly is indescribable!
Lord of all creation,
Forgive me when I attempt to think I know better than You do. When I am surprised by a huge snowstorm, a blistering heatwave, or a bracing wind, may it remind me to be humble in Your presence. Transform my surprise and fear into wonder, awe, and praise of You. I praise You for Your awesome creative powers, and for this beautiful world in which we live. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ Holy name. Amen.