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Lydia Brownback

It's raining. Actually, it’s pouring. Again. One week into summer, and it’s already the wettest one in years. And the forecast for the holiday week ahead comes off like a bad set of repetitive lyrics: “mostly cloudy, 80 percent chance of rain . . . mostly cloudy, 80 percent chance of rain . . . mostly cloudy, 80 percent chance of rain.” The annual parade and fireworks are likely to be cancelled, along with a lot of backyard barbecues and family outings. There’s a lot of grumbling to be heard. What we don’t hear so easily are the heart issues that accompany our complaining. Here are four truths about those weather grumbles.

Truth #1: Weather grumbles are a negative commentary on God’s self-revelation. The diversity of weather of whatever sort comes from the hand of God, who designs each cloud formation and orchestrates each dip in the jet stream as a means of revealing his majesty to creation. The psalmist sings, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).

Truth #2: Weather grumbles expose our hard hearts. Before our holy and just God, we deserve nothing but hell, yet by grace through faith in Christ he’s provided the way to joy, peace, and forgiveness. We don’t grasp the magnitude of this blessing because we don’t grasp the magnitude of our sin, and we don’t grasp the magnitude of our sin because our hearts are hard. If we realized what God holds out to us in Christ, our well-being wouldn’t be dependent on a sunny day at the beach.

Truth #3: Weather grumbles point to a lack of purpose. When we’re caught up in caring for the needy and reaching out to the lost, weather doesn’t matter.

Truth #4: Weather grumbles expose  how blessed we really are. People with real problems don’t complain about the weather. If you’ve noticed, TV interviews of survivors of real weather-related disasters aren’t filled with complaints. Instead, they’re often quoted as thanking God for the mercies and provisions they’ve been given through the experience.

For I know that the LORD is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
(Psalm 135:5-7)