- Religion and Philosophy
Why God loves us, whatever the weather
So the British Meteorological Office have given up on Seasonal Forecasts. Probably just as well since they thought that in 2009 we were going to have a barbecue summer, which turned out to be a washout. And then they forecast a mild winter, which was one of the coldest for 30 years!
But what is it with the British and the weather? Sure it is a great conversation-starter, but why are we so obsessed with it? Perhaps it is because we have such a variety, sometimes 4 seasons in one day. Then again, how good would it be to wake up every morning to sunshine and 25 degrees? Great to begin with, but I wonder if those of us who don't live in hot climates might tire of it and miss the rain?
Mind you, don't we think that we can do better than the forecasters? We can generally tell when we need to take our umbrella or when to put the cover on the windscreen to prepare for the frost. But if we are that good and think that forecasters get it wrong most times, why do we still hang on their every word? I remember the old saying in Scotland where I grew up in that if you couldn't see the local island, then it was raining and if you could see it, it would soon be!
What a shame it is for the forecasters, for when they get it right we don't give them the credit but how quick we are to complain when they get it wrong. And how true that is of life in general. How often do we moan about people getting things wrong, but are slow to compliment them for the things they do right?
And for most of us, when we make a mistake – and of course we often have a reason (or excuse) for why it happened – only a few people know or notice. But when forecasters get it wrong, boy everybody knows about it. Other than perhaps sportsmen, few workers have their mistakes made so public.
And how come when there are natural disasters, be it floods, drought or earthquakes that we are so often quick to blame God? We even have a name for it “An Act of God”, which is a bit rich given that many of the people who use it, don't actually believe that He exists.
But it's true that some winters are ones that we will not forget in a hurry, with extreme cold and frequent snowstorms. But there again once the novelty wore off we criticised the council for the lack of gritters and our refuse bins not being collected, the teachers for closing the schools, and the transport companies for cancelling our trains and buses. Ah, the good old British winter!
As spring blossoms into summer – hopefully a real barbecue one this year – our bad memories will fade and the sun will come out. I wonder if we will be as quick to thank God for the sunshine, as we were to curse him for the floods? A friend of mine had a very clever saying: “The great thing about sunshine”, he would say “is that you don't have to shovel it off your drive.” Isn't that wonderful?
But isn't it interesting that we use weather jargon to describe how we are? We talk about people having a sunny disposition or being frosty, being in a fog or a cloud of despair. Christians even talk about showers of blessing to describe times when they feel God especially close and they are revelling in God's goodness to them. But Christians are not immune from the circumstances of life, any more than they are from the weather. They have tough times, sadness, disappointment, bereavement, redundancy, in short the same problems and joys that everyone has. If their lives were trouble-free, then you can depend on the churches being full, with waiting lists.
But having Jesus as our friend means that we can face whatever life throws at us; the circumstances do not change, but the way that we look at them does. Wouldn't you be happy too knowing that He has a bright and sunny future planned for you, whatever the weather?