The forecast called for a dusting of snow with no travel problems expected. Oddly enough the heavy snow was supposed to be to the south of this central Alabama town. But, the forecasters with all of their modern technology and years of meteorological experience missed it by 100-125 miles.
As I look out my window I see three inches of snow on my front yard. The glare of the sun on the snow is somewhat blinding to my natural eye, but the eyes of my spirit are quickened to the words of the psalmist; He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. (Psalms 147:16-18 ESV)
Incidents like this serve to remind us that the God of the universe is sovereign over the weather. Not one snowflake falls apart from his command. Not one drop of sleet or rain or ray of sunshine, nor hurricane, tornado or tsunami nor any other weather event should be considered a freak of nature. And “mother nature” has nothing to do with it. It is Father God who sovereignly directs nature according to his wisdom and predetermined plan.
Consider the wise words of Elihu who said, For to the snow he says, Fall on the earth, likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. (Job 37:6,10-12 ESV) To which the psalmist concurs, 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. (Psalms 135:5-7 ESV)
Psalms 148 tells us that fire, hail, snow, mist and stormy wind fulfill the word of God (v7-8). And one psalmist proclaims that God gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses (Psalms 33:7). And yet another psalm reminds us that the thunder, whirlwind and lightning belong to God who commands the stormy wind and lifts the waves of the seas (Psalms 77:18; 107:25). Isaiah the prophet declares that it is by the breathe of God that grass withers and flowers fade (Isaiah 40:7).
Jesus’ disciples saw first hand the sovereign control of God over the weather. As they were being tossed about and swamped by waves, Jesus was asleep in the boat. In fear of their lives his disciples woke him. Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him? (Matthew 8:26-27 ESV) What sort of man was this? God in flesh (John 1:1, 14). He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power . . . (Hebrews 1:3 ESV) All things were made by him and through him and for him (Colossians 1:16).
Luke records this story: There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:1-5 ESV)
So why did God cause the snow to fall where man did not expect it? Yes, people were inconvenienced. Many motorists were stranded; some abandoned their cars while others spent the night in their cars. Families were separated, property was damaged, employers and employees lost income and injuries and deaths were reported. All of this to remind us that life is fragile and can be gone without notice. Indeed this is an act of a merciful God. It is a loving call for repentance and worship. This event and others like it are graceful nudges to stand in awe of the one who upholds the universe by the word of his power.