My, it’s cold.
Wind chills hit -51 this morning. The high temperature, without windchill was -14 yesterday (1/30/19). It’s been fun telling how Midwestern temps were lower than those in Antarctica, Sibera and Alaska these past two days.
The last time a polar vortex whirled its way this far south was five years ago. I wrote about it then, but back then it the high was only twelve below. The wind chills in 2014 barely cracked the -35 National Weather Service advisory line. We kicked that ball way off the frozen tundra this week.
My, it’s cold.
When the Cold Came this Way
The mercury began dropping Tuesday evening en route to the dangerously low temperatures we’ve had the past two days. And right in the middle of its pretty little plummet, I had to stop and capture some gorgeous polar vortex images, because- well, you know- I stalk the sun.
But in the span it took to take 10 seconds of video and a few quick glistening sunset pics, my fingers nearly got frostbit and my van did get drifted in.
My it’s cold.
In that split second, the knockout sunset took a backseat to the seriously frigid wind and drifting snow. Because here I was, alone at dusk on the eve of the coldest day in two decades, stuck on the side of County Road A.
So I prayed. Then I gunned it forward and back and still couldn’t go. And I prayed and thought again,
My, it’s cold.
Don’t Play Around With This Cold
Schools, businesses and governments announced closures. Not even the mail went through. The US Postal Service put a pause on mail delivery yesterday and today because of extreme weather. When I took the garbage out this morning it was -24, with a -51 windchill. But garbage pick-up was suspended too. At last count, 1,009 was the number of closures listed on the upper right of my screen.
At the very least, this kind of cold crimps our style. I don’t just mean hat heads and puffy coats. I mean, all this sunshine and snow and days off in the middle of the week and there’s not a single kid on a sled to be seen. This kind of cold does way more than sting the toes and bit the nose.
We don’t play around with this kind of cold.
To miss the message of this kind of cold is to miss the elephant in the room.
By the Breath of God
If I know anything about God, I think I know this: God’s got the weather. Just take a minute to read Job 37 if you have any doubt about that.
5 God thunders wondrously with his voice;
he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
7 He seals up the hand of every man,
that all men whom he made may know it.
8 Then the beasts go into their lairs,
and remain in their dens.
9 From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.
10 By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
12 They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
13 Whether for correction or for his land
or for love, he causes it to happen.
God’s got his reasons, and we might never know them, but He is behind this and every other winter snow and frigid, arctic blast.
Stop and Consider
And He wants us to know that. Because the next verse, verse 14, the punchline, if you will for Job then and for us now:
Hear this, O Job;
stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
Stop and consider the wondrous works of God. God’s behind this and God’s got this. And if God’s got this, what makes you think he can’t handle the less extreme stuff in your life? But if we never take time to stop and consider we might not trust Him much, and he wants our fear and our trust.
God wants our attention.
Don’t Toy With Me
John Piper writes,
It is one more way God says, “Whether hot or cold, high or deep, sharp or blunt, loud or quiet, bright or dark . . . don’t toy with me. I am God. I made all these things. They speak of me, just like the warm summer breezes do, and the gentle rains, and the soft moonlit nights, and the lapping of the lakeside, and lilies of the field and the birds of the air.”John Piper, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-kind-of-cold-that-kills
God made these cold polar winds. They speak of Him.
That is the elephant lurking in a lot of comfy, cozy, fire-in-the-hearth homes these past two days. Maybe we’re afraid to mention it because it’s out of our control and a little scary. I got a taste of that on County Road A before God sent a strong, kind man in a big Balestrieri Builders truck. I already know control and comfort are overrated.
But I needed to hear again God’s word for us in this extreme, unsettling cold. May God give us all eyes to see, ears to hear and wisdom to stop and consider the wondrous works of the Lord.
Because, you’ve felt it too.
It’s been cold.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
and scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?