ODJ: out of season
February 4, 2014
READ: Jeremiah 3:1-5
He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses (10:13).
One year, spring in America arrived with unseasonably pleasant temperatures that broke records and elevated spirits. But the mid-80ºF temperatures (30º C) came with a price. Soon a cold snap hit, freezing all the blossoms. The budding flowers withered. Fruit farms were devastated. Food prices rose substantially.
As I write this, the calendar announces spring’s official arrival. But outside, the wind whips the snow sideways with no sign of relenting. Naturally, we’re whining. We might do well to remember that year’s early warm spell. This year’s weather is the norm.
Some people assume that all disasters or even aberrations in weather are God’s judgement. That’s a dangerous—and wrong—assumption. But natural disasters are one way that God grabs the attention of His people.
More than 2,500 years ago, the people of Judah faced ominous threats from hostile forces and drought. The reason was their bad behaviour. Speaking both metaphorically and literally, the prophet Jeremiah said, “You have prostituted yourself with many lovers” (Jeremiah 3:1). The accusation of adultery depicted Judah’s unfaithfulness to God, but the people were also adulterous in the literal sense. “That’s why even the spring rains have failed,” Jeremiah noted (v.3).
But God didn’t leave His people alone, despite their reprehensible behaviour. He longed to bless them, even though He couldn’t permit them to continue exploiting the poor and the weak and ignoring His commands. He loved them far too much to pretend that everything was okay.
All of life’s circumstances and seasons should cause us to turn in humility to our Creator God, who loves us enough to send the rain—or to withhold it, depending on our needs. —Tim Gustafson
Read Luke 13:1-5 and note what Jesus says regarding calamities.
What are you prone to complain about? How can you see God’s love in the inconveniences, challenges and outright disasters that come your way?