Years ago, Nebraskans got tired of leaning into the wind, having their top soil blown away, and chickens laying their eggs two and three times. Seems the wind and weather continually came down from Canada, and there was nothing between Canada and Nebraska to stop it all.
So the farmers all got together and decided to build a fence across the northern border of the State of Nebraska - the idea being, to stop that cold wind. It might have worked, too. The barbed wire they used was strong enough; but the real problem was that a couple farm owners on the upper boarder kept leaving their gates open.
As I sit here writing this blog, summer is giving way to fall. The process whereby this is happening is a massive cold front sweeping down into Tennessee from the northwest – right out of Canada. Storms are passing through even now; and it is a rough night out, full of thunder, lightning, wind, and rain.
But we have been assured by those in the know that, as a result of this unpleasant night, temperatures will be falling from the 90’s into the 70’s in the next couple of days. Beautiful, clear fall days are just ahead.
God’s timing is always spot on. While all of this is happening, I am still thinking about our Bible Study at Church last night, wherein we concluded our study of the life of Jacob. In Genesis 48:15-16, just before he dies, he blesses his children and grandchildren. His blessing includes a parting admonition for all of us to consider:
“May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm - may He bless these boys.”
All too late, it seems, “Jacob”, the trickster, had finally become “Israel”, the one who was changed by his encounter with Almighty God. In other words, he had finally reached the point where he could acknowledge that it had been God, and not he himself, that had been the One in control of his life all along. Interestingly enough, the old control freak seems to be at peace with this. And he wishes the blessing of this realization upon his sons and grandsons.
It is regrettable that Jacob’s great realization came to him so
late in life. As he looked back over his 147 years, he was finally able to see that he had spent way too much time worrying, fretting, and conniving as he tried to weather the storms of his life. His time would have been far better spent acknowledging and appreciating the fact that he was in the protective hands of God no matter what storms he had faced.
At this point, of course, Jacob is “everyman”. Lest we condemn him too harshly, we must remember that we too fret and worry way too much about the storms of life. We too seem only to appreciate God’s protective presence in retrospect. How much better off we would be if we could only learn to trust Him in advance of the storm as much as we appreciate Him when the storm has passed.
And let’s face it: storms are a fact of life. I once heard a very wise preacher say that every single person alive is either (a) just coming out of a storm, or (b) even now in the middle of some storm, or else (c) headed into some new storm on their horizon. Given this, how much less wear and tear on our nerves might we experience if we could just learn to trust God. He got Jacob through all fifteen decades allotted to him; and He will do the very same for us!
An anonymous poet says it best…
Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!
JOKE SOURCE: This and numerous other weather funnies can be found at: http://www.weatherimages.org/wxhumor.html.
POEM SOURCE: http://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/3045.html.