A second snowstorm within three days has brought the mid-Atlantic region of the United States to a halt. This region contains the nation’s centers for finance, business, and government. In some instances, even snow plows have been kept off the roads because conditions are too dangerous for plowing. So far, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia have had record amounts snowfalls. The news media have provided extensive coverage of the disruptions caused by the snow. Questions are being asked of politicians and meteorologists about the significance of these back-to-back storms. But one question is not being asked, and that is the most important question of all. Does God have your attention?
In an earlier post this week we looked at Job 37:5-7:
God’s voice thunders in marvelous 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 labor.
Sending two crippling snowstorms to the same region is not difficult for God. If He wants to, he can easily send more storms with even more snow. But these two storms already make a dramatic point–God can change the course of human activities any time he desires. God has literally stopped the labor of men this past week. How will man respond?
I choose to believe these storms are not a matter of random occurrence. While I don’t know the exact reasons for these storms, it is clear from the passage above that God has sent these storms so that men would know that God must be acknowledged for who He is. For a few days, God has chosen to stop the normal routine of life for people from northern Virginia to New York. This action is one of both compassion and of warning.
It is an act of compassion because God is graciously showing government leaders and all people of this region that ultimately, they are not in control. Laws can be passed, but God is not constrained by them. We have come to the place as a nation where God and his word are aggressively ignored by our lawmakers. This snow is a reminder from God that he is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Only Christians can accurately interpret what this snow really means. While we don’t know all of the reasons why God chose to send this snow, we do know the words of Job: God has done this so that men may know his work.
It is a warning because we cannot presume upon God’s mercy; he will not be patient forever. America is a nation that is intent on writing God out of its laws and policies. By contrast, in World War II, American soldiers went into combat having been given Bibles with an inscription from President Franklin Roosevelt on the inside front cover. I saw an actual copy of one of these Bibles, which belongs to a friend who is an Air Force chaplain. Again, only Christians can sound the warning with compassion and accuracy.
Help your children to understand at least one reason for these massive snow events. Even if you live in Florida or Hawaii, you can still point to the work stoppage in the mid-Atlantic region and explain that God sent this snow so that men will stop their labors and know God’s work.
Pray with your family and with your church that man will indeed see his frailty before God. Pray that our country would turn from our selfish, vain pursuit of the idols of this age and come to see God for who He is. Our prayer is not so much for a change in Washington as it is for a change in the hearts of men everywhere.
Pray for courage to ask others, “Does God have your attention?”