Week of January 29
by Skip Heitzig
In just a few days, 20 to 40 thousand people will gather in the little town of Punxutawney, Pennsylvania, for the annual Groundhog Day festival. It's kind of a fun, folklore-based celebration, and nobody really takes it seriously. Supposedly, the groundhog can predict the upcoming weather. If he sees his shadow when he emerges from his den on February 2, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't, there will be an early spring.
Like I said, nobody takes it seriously. But let me go out on a limb here: I guarantee that, shadow or no shadow, winter will continue for a while. And, despite the dire predictions of some climatologists on "global warming," frigid weather will come back each year, with the kind of conditions that we all love to complain about. The reason I say this is that we have the promise of God on it. After the flood, God told Noah, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22).
You see, God is in control of it all, not just the weather, but everything. In Daniel 2, we find the prophet exalting God for His power and His knowledge. "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him. I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers..." (v. 20-24).
That is the God we serve, a powerful and wonderful Lord who knows everything, down to the smallest detail, and who is in control of everything as well. Our lives, our fortunes, and our eternal destiny are in His loving and powerful hands. When we look at all our worries and our concerns beside the power and strength of our almighty God, they shrivel to nothing. In the words of the Twila Paris song, "God is in Control," "We believe that His children will not be forsaken… There is no power above or beside Him…"
God is in control of everything, not the politician, not the weatherman, and certainly not a cute little rodent watching for his shadow. So, relax. Pop some popcorn, heat up the hot chocolate, and keep your mittens handy, because it'll be cold for a while. But our loving and all-powerful God will bring the spring season in His time.
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