Ice and Fire: A reason for reverence

“For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.

By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick clouds with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen. “Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God. Do you know how God lays his command upon them and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine? Do you know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,'”

Job 37: 6, 10-16a (ESV)

Today is a very rare day for the deep south. Seasoned snow-goers, please forgive us for our seemingly over-exaggerated excitement and awe. This is a sight we are not used to seeing. As I checked the forecast yesterday and anticipated waking up to a yard covered in white fluffiness, I couldn’t help but be struck by the reverence stirring up in my heart for God. The universe was breathed out by His very own breath and all of nature functions at the work of His hands every second of every day.

While I was almost too excited to sleep, I remembered California and the pictures that I’ve seen of their hills ablaze. I cannot imagine the fear, the terror. The fires continue to spread across their state and officials struggle to control it. And then we have this rare event of snow in the south at the same time. It’s difficult to have joy when you remember the suffering that’s happening on the other side of the country.

This is never something we want to hear when experiencing a tragedy, but God really does have everything under His control. No, it doesn’t make sense to us. We have no idea why such a terrible thing is happening. However, take heart if you are in Christ. Rejoice that we serve a sovereign God. While His sovereignty can scare us sometimes, we have to continually trust that He is good and that everything He does is good.

I’m not trying to push off the fact that people are truly in agonizing suffering and crippling fear. In the midst of whatever happens during our time here on earth, we can trust in a Father who loves us. His ways are so far beyond our ways and His knowledge is perfect.

Then, what really struck me was how practically impossible it is for us to relate to a God who holds the forces of nature. And not that He just created it and decided how it would work, but that it all answers to His call and His authority. That’s amazing. Does that not make us humans seem SO small and insignificant?

But this is what warmed me… what made my face bow before this God. The realization that He sent His Son in the flesh, not just to sacrifice His life for us and pay the debt of our sins, but to relate to us. Is that not incredible? Our God is truly so sweet and so good. He knew that His ways are so beyond anything we could fathom. Imagine how disconnected and distant we would feel trying to have a relationship with God without an intercessor. God humbled Himself, sent His Son in the likeness of Himself, to experience what we experience. To step onto this earth with His two bare feet. To be the lowest of lows, born in a manger with no other place to stay.

This is so much to meditate on. But the biggest thing I took away from this realization is that we serve a mighty God. A very, powerful and wise God. He can be scary if we think about it. But there’s Jesus. The Man who walked our road, who was tempted in every way that we are, and who experienced the deepest grief there ever was. Jesus is fully God and fully man. Jesus shows us God’s character behind His work in all the ice and fire on the earth. We can relate and draw near to this mighty God only because Jesus cleansed us of our sins to be in His holy presence.

God should be feared when we look at ourselves in comparison to Him and when we witness His marvelous work in His creation. But Jesus is our friend to whom we draw near to, in order to know the true heart of God our creator.

Paul tells us that no matter what happens, no matter what he’s going through, no matter what he does and doesn’t have, he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Trust in the Lord who had so much compassion on His people to bring us a Savior and intercessor in order to relate to the beings He created and purposed. Come to know in trust in this Christ, and be under the protection of our all-powerful Lord of the universe.

“… for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV)

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