Powerful storms have hit the east coast this winter shutting things down repeatedly. Low temperatures and ice made a rare appearance in Texas. and yesterday, during the evening rush hour in Chicago, there was a rare snow thunderstorm.
It would seem this winter is out to break records. Schools in my area have used all their snow days. Chicago has had 66.8 inches of snow this year, the 5th heaviest ever (5th? Can’t we at least go for a bronze?). For perspective, snow records began in the winter of 1884-1885 and Chicago has only topped 70 inches 3 times.
All of that means that were hitting another record.
Complaining about the weather is in vogue anytime the weather is extreme…and even when it isn’t. We have plans and we want to be comfortable – and weather can get in the way of that; so we complain. And it seems innocent enough. But is it?
Last year I read John Younts book, Everyday Talk in which he explored the power words have in the lives of the children around us and how God wants us to use the everyday to talk about Him. This doesn’t mean quoting scripture all day, but instead knowing your knowledge and wisdom will become part of their lives.
For example, suppose you are reading in the Gospels and you come to passages where Jesus shows His power over the winds and the waves. As you think about this you realize that God is so powerful that He controls the weather. All weather, everywhere. So when you see a cloud in the sky or experience a sudden, unexpected thunderstorm, or read about a hurricane, you are amazed that Jesus is, indeed, Lord over the weather. Talking about the weather isn’t just small talk. Weather events are opportunities to talk to your children about God in the way that Deuteronomy 6 envisions.
A few pages later there’s a Dad looking forward to playing a round of gold when he discovers that it’s raining.
“Stupid rain,” he mutters.
These unguarded words from your mouth present a powerful view of God to your children. Your seemingly casual words forcefully instruct your children about God—for good or for bad. How would Satan want you to talk to your kids about something as basic as the weather? Your big golf date (or boating day, or baseball game, or garden show, etc.) gets rained out. You find yourself angry and upset. You say something like, “Why couldn’t it have waited until tomorrow? I’ve been weeks setting this up. Stupid rain! I can’t believe what bad luck this is!”
These comments communicate to your kids just how well you think Jesus Christ, the Lord of the wind and the waves, is running His world. You are complaining against His decision to bring rain when you didn’t want Him to. Whom are you pleasing? Whom do you think is cheering you on, saying, “Go for it, keep it up, couldn’t have said it better myself, atta boy!” (Hint: it’s not the Holy Spirit.)
Think about it. Do you really want to present God’s actions in His world with Satan’s spin? You only have so many words, so many minutes to show God’s truth to your kids.
These words adjusted my perspective.
I still dislike the huge pile of snow that is left at the foot of my driveway by the snow plow. I still like being warm. But keeping the right perspective has made this a more joyful winter. After all, it is just the winter the God envisioned.