Monthly Archives: February 2015

God’s Time?

Blind Faith (No. 9, 2015)
Weekly Devotional for February 26, 2015
God’s Time?

Snow has begun falling in earnest. Weather forecasters said it
would happen. Managers of school systems, government agencies, businesses
and industries, and regular people have called off operations for the day in
anticipation of 1-6 inches of snow in places that hardly ever see snow at
all. Wintery paralysis is expected to extend along a 1,100 mile-long path
from Texas to the east coast. Furthermore, frigid temperatures and little
sunshine the day after the snowfall most likely will curtail many activities
an additional day. The situation is so dire that the first round of state
championship high school basketball games – and perhaps more of the
tournament – has been postponed! That’s serious!

The question quickly turns to what to do with the time suddenly
cleared of typical routines and obligations. Parents with children know the
challenges of school closing for snow days. Snow reports from local TV
newscasters poking rulers an inch or more into the snow or reciting
interminable lists of road closings lose fascination after the first couple
of hours. What to do.? What to do.? And for how long.?

A Bible passage you may not have read in a long while offers an
amazingly direct answer regarding productive use of some of the otherwise
idled time. Elihu, Job’s younger friend, sat silently as Eliphaz, Bildad,
and Zophar argued with Job about God’s reasons for afflicting Job. Elihu was
sure that they were all off the mark, so he finally breaks his silence to
speak correctly of God’s majesty in creation and his great love and mercy.
(Elihu doesn’t get his views of God completely correct, either, but that’s
another story!) A segment of Elihu’s counsel is strikingly apropos for a day
whited-out by snowfall: “God’s voice thunders in wonderful ways; he does
great things we cannot understand. {6} He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the
earth,’ and to the shower, ‘Be a heavy rain.’ {7} With it, he stops everyone
from working so everyone knows it is the work of God.. {14} Job, listen to
this: Stop and notice God’s miracles.” (Job 37:5-7, 14 NCV) Shortly after
Elihu implores Job to take time to meditatively consider the wonders of
God’s creative and redemptive works, God addresses Job with similar notions.

The snow stops us from our ordinary work. We have a marvelous
gift of time during which to consider God’s wondrous power, love and grace!
A good starting point might be thinking carefully about affirmations of
God’s character as suggested in Hebrew poetry in Psalms: “I will remember
the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. {12}
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. {13}
Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? {14} You are
the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
{15} With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob
and Joseph.” (Psalm 77:11-15 NIV) Another psalm offers marvelous food for
thought on a reflective, snowy day:

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can
fathom. {4} One generation will commend your works to another; they will
tell of your mighty acts. {5} They will speak of the glorious splendor of
your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. {6} They will
tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great
deeds. {7} They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of
your righteousness.
{8} The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
{9} The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. {10} All
you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. {11} They
will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, {12} so that
all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your
kingdom. {13} Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion
endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.. {18} The LORD is near to all who call on
him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:3-13, 18 NIV)

These and many more descriptions of God’s wondrous works of creation, the
depth of his love, mercy, and grace, and his power to save us from sin and
from ourselves are replete throughout the Bible. Take some time to find your
favorite. Scour the pages of scripture to find testimonies of God’s gracious
presence you might have missed before. Consider each phrase, each sentence,
allowing time to grasp anew how amazing God’s works are in all of nature and
in our hearts and lives. Job – or Ed, or Sue, or Martin, or whatever your
name is – stop, and notice God’s miracles!

Go ahead, make a batch of snow cream. Sled down lots of hills. Make a
snowman, and have energetic snowball fights! But pause to think that God
created the earth, and the cold weather, and the rain . and the snow that
has stopped regular routines and work. This is God’s time for faithful
people to give thanks for all God has done and continues to do to give us
the abundant life Jesus promised. Be sure to heed Elihu’s fitting words for
a snowy day!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us, {21} to him be glory in
the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and
ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

– J. Edward Culpepper