It’s been raining for days and days. Emails and Facebook have been covered up with references to the “animals lining up two by two”…a sure sign that we’re still definitely living in the Bible belt. I woke up early this morning to the sound of howling winds from the west and the wind chimes from the back porch announcing the arrival of the winter precipitation that we so often miss entirely during a Southern winter. It’s no longer raining. It is snowing here today. That sentence alone should tell you that something is seriously different in the world.
I’ve looked at the Weather Channel and the local news and they both say that the snow should be moving on out by early afternoon, but the fact that it is here at all is amazing.
People in other parts of the country laugh at us about this. Even down here, it is often a source of amusement: as soon as there is even a hint that snow is on the way, the bread, milk and battery inventories at local stores dramatically decrease; people make sure they have a full tank of gas…and maybe a little extra in case they need to use the generators. That isn’t a joke…it really happens and yet, the fact that it happens is a joke.
Standing at my front door this morning, I noticed that just my proximity to the glass created a haze on the transparent barrier between me and the blowing bits of frozen water. The difference between out and in are definable in unusual ways here today. The haze on the glass isn’t that unusual…it’s just that the balance of hot and cold are generally reversed here at my house.
The people I know in Minnesota would think spring had arrived if they woke up to the weather we’re having here today and I would think I was exiled in Siberia if I had to endure their winters. I also know that they might believe they had been exiled to an entirely different place if they arrived here in late July or August. Temperatures below freezing don’t seem to faze them a bit, but let that thermometer start rising into the 90’s and low hundreds and it is an entirely different story.
Sometimes I think life is a bit like that. What seems odd or unusual to us may be perfectly normal to someone else. It is amazing what you can get used to, I guess. Of all the things I’m used to, perhaps the most comforting is that God is with me no matter what the weather looks like or what other personal storms I might face.
I was reminded of some verses in the book of Job this morning as I looked out into the blowing snow:
“God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Be on the earth’; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength….By the breath of God ice is given and the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth….Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail…” Job 37: 5-6, 10-12 and 38:22 (NKJV)
Just as people have different reactions to the weather conditions, they will have differing reactions to the verses above. Some will think them silly and outdated. Others will see them as great literature. I see them as comfort: No matter what the situation is with the weather or any other changeable part of the world, God is in control…and that is not unusual here at all.