The Reformed Life

Equipping followers of Christ to live in a manner worthy of their calling

Snow and the Sovereignty of God

This morning I woke up like most New Englanders to the sight of snow covering the ground. Usually, this causes a mild frustration because I know that I have to get outside and clean the sidewalks of the church property, my house, and my cars that are out in the driveway. When I first moved to Worcester and encountered the snow, it was easy for me to get frustrated at the inconveniences that the winter weather brought to my day. However, lately I have come to have joy amid the morning cleaning. What has brought me from frustration to joy? It’s the understanding of God’s sovereignty.

In Jeremiah 14:22, we read, “Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O LORD our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.”

Why does God allow/order the weather that comes upon us? We can’t know for sure the reason that God has for allowing or ordering rain, tornadoes, hurricanes, or blizzards, but we can know from Scripture that God does indeed allow it or cause it to happen.
As Jerry Bridges once said, “Whenever we are affected by the weather-whether it is merely an inconvenience or a major disaster-we tend to regard it as nothing more than the impersonal expression of certain fixed meteorological or geological laws.” He goes on to say, “A low pressure system settles over my hometown, bringing a huge snowstorm…we tend to think of the expressions of nature as ‘just happening’ and ourselves as the ‘unlucky’ victims of whatever nature brings forth (Trusting God, p. 86).”

Often in these moments, even Christians begin to act as deists who believe that God created the universe, set it in motion, and the simply walked away to leave it running according to its own natural laws. Yet, we know from Scripture that God has not walked away from the day-to-day control of His creation.

We will frequently hear insurance adjusters and news reporters referring to major weather movements as “acts of God,” but we know that ALL of weather’s expressions are acts of God. The psalmist of Psalm 147 understood this when he said, “He covers the heavens with clouds; He prepares rain for the earth; He makes grass grow on the hills. He gives snow like wool; He scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before this cold? (Ps. 147:8, 16-18).”

People (myself included) seem to enjoy complaining about the weather. It doesn’t matter if it’s rain, a snow storm, or horrible tornado, we frequently hear complaints regarding the weather that affects us. Yet, when we complain about the weather, we are essentially complaining against the God that sent us our weather. When we complain about the weather, we are sinning against God. We see this in Numbers 11:1, “And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled.”

As Jerry Bridges says, “not only do we sin against God when we complain about the weather, we also deprive ourselves of the peace that comes from recognizing our heavenly Father is in control of it (Trusting God, p. 89).” We know that God orders or allows all things for the praise of His glory and for our good. Therefore, when we find ourselves affected by the weather, let us stop and praise God that He is in control of all things. There is not one single molecule that rages in the world today outside of His control.

Are more quick to praise God when it’s 75 degrees and sunny compared to when it’s raining, snowing, or even devastating? I’m not saying that we should not have sadness when we see the negative affects that weather often brings. However, even in the darkness, we should have joy knowing that God is in control of all things and has a plan to use it for His glory and our good. Let us rest in His sovereignty and find peace in His goodness.

When I look out at the snow, I am now reminded of God’s gracious provision for His children in the sending of His Son Jesus Christ. I am reminded of the book of Isaiah where we read, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”-Isaiah 1:18

I am reminded by the snow, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. As I was studying the book of Hebrews this morning, I read that sinners are justified in Christ. Christians are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We know from Scripture that because of Christ’s work for us, the Father says, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more (Jer. 31:34).”

I am thankful that I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that He remembers my sins no more. I am thankful for the truth of Colossians 1:21, which says, “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him.” The righteousness of Jesus Christ is my one defense as I stand before a Holy and Righteous God. I am thankful for God’s gracious reminder of His provision in my life this morning in the mundane task of cleaning the snow off the ground.

God is in control of the weather. He controls all things. He does all for His glory and our good. Let us not be grieved by the “hand that we have been dealt” and praise God for His glorious provision of His creation. Have we found ourselves praising God for His sovereignty when things go well for us, only to reject it when things go bad? If that’s you (as it was/is for me many times), let us repent of our sin and praise God that He is sovereign and in control of all things. May the sovereignty of God turn our complaining into thanksgiving and praise, and bring us great joy amid the inconveniences of life.

Soli Deo Gloria
Josh Chambers

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