Whatever The Weather
By Fin Sheridan
Last night, I checked the weather forecast for the week ahead. It was classically British; could be drizzle, patches of sun, quite cold then hot then cold again. Oh. Well that’s decisive then. Don’t get me wrong, I’m amazed and impressed with the science behind predicting the weather. It’s a huge industry, often incredibly accurate and I’m not suggesting that I have any ideas for improvement.
It is a little bit futile though, isn’t it? Not just weather forecasts, but any forecast. Since the beginning of time, humanity has been obsessed with knowing the future. Ancient soothsayers and fortune tellers, throwing bones in the air to advise medieval kings. Old Testament prophets, directing tribes and nations. The modern day, multi-million pound horoscope industry, splashed across the back pages of tabloids and gossip magazines. Not content with remembering our past and living our present, “tomorrow” is the prize we truly desire.
In Job 37, we find some magnificent descriptions of how God controls weather:
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.’
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.
He loads the clouds with moisture;
he scatters his lightning through them.
“Mankind can barely predict the weather: God breathes and he creates it.”
At his direction they swirl around
over the face of the whole earth
to do whatever he commands them.
Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?
You who sweat in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze?
As I’m read with those verses, I’m struck with how out of control I am – and how totally in control, God is. Mankind can barely predict the weather: God breathes and he creates it. We are obsessed with trying to have a grip on things, to promote ourselves to the “in charge” role but it’s not ours to have. God always has been, and always will be, over everything in the world; the storms of the Atlantic and the storms of our lives. That’s worth remembering, next time the weather forecast shows rain.