Isaiah 55.10-11: For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
This winter of 2014 has been marked by repeated snows. We’ve had some kind of winter storm event come through just every few days – usually on Sundays and Wednesdays – the days of the week when we conduct our church services. We’ve had every kind of variety of inclement weather there is: freezing rain, sleet, ice, and snow.
Our scheduled services have been cancelled numerous times. It is extremely difficult to maintain any kind of continuity when our assemblies and worship services are repeatedly interrupted. In fact, I am writing this on a Lord’s Day evening in lieu of going to worship service. We’ve had another front of freezing rain, sleet, and snow move in this afternoon after our morning worship service.
It would be very easy to become frustrated with it, but we are people of faith – which means we place all our trust and confidence in the sovereign wisdom and purposes of God.
So, here are some lessons I have learned and tried to apply in my responses to these otherwise frustrating and discouraging circumstances:
1. GOD IS IN CONTROL OF ALL EVENTS…EVEN WEATHER EVENTS.
Weather events are no different than all other events that happen in our world –GOD RULES OVER THEM ALL. This Isaiah Scripture is God’s own personal statement of ownership and control over all events that come down to earth from Heaven.
The primary comparison God makes here is that rain and snow come down to earth from Heaven just like His Word does. He sends them both. Just like God says He ‘sends’ His Word from His mouth, so He also ‘sends’ the rains and snows from Heaven by His same Word.
Psalm 104.10, 13-14: He sends the springs into the valleys; they flow among the hills. 13 He waters the hills from His upper chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. 14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that He may bring forth food from the earth…
Job 37.6: For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.
2. GOD IS WATERING THE EARTH FOR FUTURE HARVESTS WHEN HE SENDS THE SNOWS.
Many times I have gotten up on a Lord’s Day morning only to find that we are ‘snowed in’ or ‘iced out.’ Or, I have followed the progress of an approaching snow event that will cancel out our MidWeek Worship service. My first impulse is to get agitated and to fret.
But, what is God doing? He rules over everything that happens on the earth and makes it all fulfill His own sovereign, wise, and good purposes. According to His own Sovereign Executive Order, He is depositing more water on the earth for the upcoming growing and harvest season. What does He say? ‘Just like the rain and snow come down from Heaven, and do not return, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater…’ Do you see what God is saying here…and what He is doing? He is sending down and laying down deposits of water for the coming Spring and Summer growing seasons – so there will be food for us to eat in the harvest to follow. He is providing for our food to grow in coming days and weeks. He is taking care of us in advance.
3. GOD IS ALSO ENCOURAGING US TO FAITHFULLY PROCLAIM HIS WORD AND WAIT FOR HIS HARVEST.
We always want to see an immediate return, response, and growth from the Word of God which we continuously proclaim and sow. We become discouraged when we don’t see it immediately grow, bud, and produce fruit. We might even fret and despair that maybe it just ‘evaporated’ and went away without effect.
But, God promises otherwise. Is it His Word that we proclaim? It is coming down from Heaven, from His own mouth? If it is, then be encouraged to wait for Him to make it grow!
He never wastes a word of His Word. Every word of His Word ‘comes down from Heaven’ ‘from My mouth,’ and God NEVER speaks and sends a word that is ‘void’ or without effect. Every word God speaks and sends ‘shall accomplish what I please and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’
We may have to wait for it to grow – but just like the rains and snows are deposited for future returns of growth, so will His spoken Word be also.