Predicting the Weather

Just about every day, Lori and I check the weather apps on our phone. Ok, to be honest, we usually check two of them. We look at the app that tells us the forecast. (Partly cloudy…high of 76…10% chance of precipitation…etc…). Then we also will look at the app that has the radar on it, so that we can try to predict if and when the rain or snow will hit us, and how long it will last.

We’ll stare at the radar and say “well, it looks like the narrowest part of the storm cell is going to go over Owatonna, so I bet the rain won’t start for another half hour, and it will only last 20 minutes. Of course we can make it to The Blast and home again in time!” (What we really need is an app that will predict the length of the line at The Blast.)

And, as often as not, we misread something and our predictions are wrong.

This is the way of the world. I hear, with regularity, people trying use the scriptures to predict the future. I remember years ago reading an article by someone who was absolutely certain that because in the Book of Revelations, an eagle, a bear and a dragon was mentioned, it meant that the end of the world would come when the United States, The Soviet Union and China went to war.

You may remember the whole “Left Behind” book series from years ago. The premise of the entire series was based on a bad interpretation of a single verse from the Book of Revelations.

Here’s the truth: Trying to predict anything is dicey. Whether it’s the weather, or it’s the way that God is going to work in the world, our predictions are often not much better than simple guesses.

There is more to God than we can know. Our God is a God of love and grace. But our God is also a God of mystery.

When Moses encountered God, Moses asked God to be revealed to him. “God, show me your mercy!” Moses asked. And God responded: “you cannot see my face, for no one shall see me and live.” (Exodus 22:21)

God wasn’t threatening Moses. He was protecting him. God is so vast, so giant, so overwhelming, that God’s people simply aren’t capable of understanding all there is to know about God. What we know about God is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. God is saying that if the God of mystery, the God who created the infinite, were revealed, we simply couldn’t take it all in.

That is, in fact, why God came in human form. God came in a way that we could see, and hear and understand. But make no mistake. Jesus is much more than that.

 Jesus says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 22:13

As we journey through life, more and more is revealed to us. I am 57 years old. And every year, I come to understand just a little more about God, and how God relates to the world, and to me. And still, what I know and understand is just a tiny fraction of all of God’s goodness.

We cannot predict what God is going to do. We cannot understand fully what God is doing.

“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Matthew 24:36

Instead, we have faith that God is good, and that whatever God does is for the benefit of God’s people. And we wait. We listen. We watch. We follow.

Thanks be to God!


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