“Mother Nature is confused,” reported the meteorologist. The roller coaster temperatures of early spring led him to that conclusion. Weather reporters often get the weather wrong. We can’t blame them. They’re not God. They’re not in control of the weather. So I can excuse a faulty weather prediction. But I take issue with a false statement. The meteorologist can’t give “Mother Nature” credit for controlling weather.
Even the report, “God is confused” would be inaccurate. God isn’t confused. I’m sure He knew just what He was doing when He sent a burst of snow on April 9th. Those of us who were weary of winter moaned. But the fact that we have seasons is evidence that God still IS in control.
After Noah finally exited from his ark, he built an alter to the Lord to worship Him. God promised never again to destroy every living thing. He said, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Genesis 8:22).
When things in our world go wacky, there’s comfort in the knowledge that God still IS in control. We may be confused about what’s happening in our lives. We may wonder why our most fragile child has to struggle with mental illness (MI). We’re not alone. I’m guessing at some point everyone wonders what’s going on. They ask, “How did I get here?” and “Why is this happening?”
The Israelites wandering in the wilderness became confused when they became hungry. Confusion caused hundreds of thousands of God’s people to complain.
“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’” (Exodus 16:2-3).
God had freed them from captivity. But things seemed much worse.
They wondered, How did we get here? Why is this happening?
I’ll bet you’ve wondered the same thing when you watched your child with MS suffer. In your confusion you may have wondered, How did we get here? Why is this happening?
Jacob also must have been confused. He had made a deal with Laban to work seven years for him so he could marry Laban’s beautiful daughter, Rachel. But after Jacob fulfilled his end of the bargain, Laban tricked Jacob and gave him his other less-beautiful daughter, Leah. And required Jacob to serve Laban for seven more years to get Rachel as his wife.
Jacob must have wondered, How could this happen to me? It’s so unfair.
I’ll bet you’ve wondered the same thing. After you’ve invested all your best efforts and your child still has MI, your confusion may have caused you to wonder, How could this happen to me? It’s so unfair.
Jacob’s son, Joseph must have also been confused. His brothers conspired to kill him and then decided instead to sell him to the Ishmaelites (who later sold him to the Egyptians).
Joseph must have wondered in his confusion, How did I get here? What did I do to deserve this?
But Joseph’s bad times turned good. His master saw that the Lord was with Joseph. So he elevated Joseph to the position of overseer.
“From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field” (Genesis 39:5).
But soon Joseph’s good time turned bad again. Potiphar’s wife wanted Joseph to lie with her. When he refused, she falsely accused him of a crime. And Potiphar threw him into prison. Here’s what Joseph said to one of his fellow captives, a butler:
“I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” (Genesis 40:15).
Joseph was echoing his father’s confusion as he wondered, How could this happen to me? It’s so unfair.
After two years, Pharaoh called for Joseph to be taken out of the dungeon to interpret his dream. God gave Joseph the interpretation of the dream and its meaning. Pharaoh elevated Joseph to be over his house, all the people and over all the land of Egypt. Things were once again good in Joseph’s life.
Where was God during all Joseph’s trials? Had God abandoned him during the tough times? Through good and bad time, the Bible tells us that the Lord was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2-3, 21).
During our darkest days, we may also wonder, Where is God? No matter what the weather, the seasons are proof God is real and He is with us.
“But God was always there doing the good things that prove he is real. He gives you rain from heaven and good harvests at the right times. He gives you plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” [Acts 14:17 (ERV)].
Dear Father, remove all confusion from our minds. Fill our hearts with joy once again. In Jesus’ name, Amen.