Thursday, February 11, 2010

I’m Sick of Winter or Grumbling at God’s Providence

“Boy, this is some kind of winter, huh? Cold, snow, windy, more snow, more wind.” I bet you’ve heard or said these words in one way or another this winter.

John Dinsmore Johnston was a missionary who visited our church years ago. He has had an interesting life; a native of Ireland, he ended up a prisoner of war of the Japanese for four years during World War II. He wrote a book entitled “The God-planned Life: Memoirs and Letters”. John told us of his father, a humble Irish farmer with a strong faith. Whenever any of his children would grumble about the weather, his dad would chastise them with these words spoken in a strong Irish accent, “Who is this who riles at God’s providence?”

Do we have any right to grumble at God’s design for this winter in Minnesota? We do not. God is in control of all of nature. God is not a wimp. He stands up and proclaims His power. He doesn’t hide out behind His providential power or distance Himself from His actions. Isaiah 45:7 says, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.” All of us amateur mini-god’s better take note.

In the Book of Nahum, Chapter 1 starting in verse 3a it says this…"The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.” He then follows with one of the most concise lists of what He has done or is capable of doing.
1. His way is in the whirlwind (v.3)
2. His way is in the storm (v.3)
3. Clouds and dust are His feet (v.4)
4. He dries up seas (v.4)
5. He makes rivers run dry (v.4)
6. He makes cities wither (v.4)
7. He makes blossoms fade (v.4)
8. He makes mountains quake (v.5)
9. He makes hills melt away (v.5)
10. He makes the earth tremble (v.5)
11. He makes all who live in the world tremble (v.5)
12. He shatters rocks (v.6)

And then He says this is verse 7a, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”

Before we complain or grumble, we need to think about why He does this. Job 37:13 says: “He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love.” Ah, we must be careful in drawing conclusions as God displays almighty power whether it be love or His punishment. In either case, our response should be the same. We should be found on our face repenting in dust and ashes. Repent for what, you say? For questioning His sovereign hand and for grumbling about it, forgive us Lord. "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage." (Jude 14-16)

1 comment:

mshel333 said...

Thank you for the reminder.