Can We Blame God for the Weather?
We have just lived through one of the longest, coldest, most arduous winters that I can ever remember. As I write this it’s the first couple of days of May, and the winter snow has just finally vanished from our yard. This winter and the last have been the longest winters I personally have ever experienced - never before seen winter snow still around the last week of April. If this is global warming, I would hate to see what global cooling would be like!
I do have a confession to make. One of my biggest struggles of living in Langenburg is that I don’t like the weather here. I was raised and lived most of my life in the Chinook belt of the prairies, so moving here added another month of winter to my life – during a normal year! So what I have experienced these last two years would’ve been unthinkable. Consequently, there are times when the long periods of cold get under my skin and begin to frustrate me – and I begin to watch the Phoenix weather reports, which doesn’t help the situation!
My wife likes to remind me that being frustrated with the weather conditions is akin to being frustrated with God – since he controls the weather. Is that true? The Bible makes a pretty good case that that is true. In ancient Israel God would send famine on the land when Israel disobeyed his commands and timely rains when they walked in his ways. In Psalm 147:8 it says: “He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.” In verses 16-17, God is even responsible for the cold, “He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast?” There are many other references in scripture to God’s ultimate control over the weather. So if he controls the weather, then yes, I guess we can blame him for the weather.
I don’t always like to make that connection; I just want to be angry about the weather. But there is also a larger issue at stake here. One of the qualities of character of the Christian life is contentment. The apostle Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances,” and it was God who gave him the strength to do so. There are many things in our lives that bring us frustration, and yet in the larger scheme of things, many are really quite trivial. We have so many blessings that if we took the time to count them, maybe winters wouldn’t feel quite so long. That’s something I’m going to need to remember, because gratitude is always better than blame.