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Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekly Snippet: Rejoice in the Inconvenient

For the past few weeks, much of the United States has been blanketed with snow and ice.  My area is no different--in fact, it's snowing outside my window (again!) as I'm writing this, bringing the snow drifts up a few more inches closer to my window sill.  The drifts are already thigh and waist deep in places in my back yard.

All of this winter weather is causing a lot of inconvenience for people--canceled school, flight and shipment delays, no work, no wages, cabin fever, high heating bills, ice damage, etc.  I don't have urgent business calling me out on these icy roads today, but it's still causing me my own share of inconveniences.  For instance, my washing machine is in my garage, which is below freezing right now.  If I try to do laundry this week, I will have a ruptured pipe out there.  I'm just thankful that I don't get rid of old clothes that often, because it looks increasingly more likely that I'll need them before it heats up again out there--the supply delays the urgency of needing to do more laundry.

And that brings me around to my topic for today:  What's good about bad weather?

We all want to grumble about what's bad about snow, or rain, or drought, but what kind of blessing is there to be found in this inconvenience?

I think, first of all, that when inconvenience comes, it checks our progress and reminds us to be grateful.  When we have no obstacles, we begin to forget that God is really the one who takes care of us--not our own hands and our own efforts.  God makes it happen.  Bad weather is just another one of those things that reminds us, once again, that "The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore," (Psalm 121: 7-8 NIV 2010).  Can we remember to depend on God?

David wrote a song that seems ironic today, considering the view outside my window--a steely gray sky sifting down powdery snow, which is covering another, thicker blanket of snow. It serves to illustrate another good thing about bad weather. Give the words some thought:
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." (Psalm 19: 1-4 NIV 2010).
Right now, the heavens have quietly shut down most people's plans in my area.  People can grumble about that, but there's one thing that they can't argue about.  Snow is an act of God, and nothing man can do can turn away God's plans.  Snow is a witnessing tool!  It bears witness to the power of God--sometimes gentle, sometimes fierce, but always relentless.  It is blindingly, dazzlingly pure white, so that no one can miss the message, unless they look away, and so cold and slick that even the blind can't walk past it without noticing.  It kind of gives you pause for thought, doesn't it?

I have to run on to other things on my to-do list now, but I'm ending this post with an open-ended question.  Can you think of any other way that inconvenience is a good thing?  If possible, illustrate your example with a Bible passage.