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Janie B. Cheaney: The weather is no obstacle for God

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WORLD Radio - Janie B. Cheaney: The weather is no obstacle for God

God is at work for the good of those who love Him


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MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, August 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. It’s been a sweltering summer in much of the U.S. But WORLD commentator Janie B. Cheaney reminds us that weather is no obstacle to God’s good work.

JANIE B. CHEANEY, COMMENTATOR: For the Midwest, it's been the kind of summer that gives summer a bad name. The weather forecast is stuck on a blazing orange heat advisory. My garden is stuck, too: tomatoes refusing to turn red and corn refusing to fill out. Even the sun seems stuck in the sky, an angry eye glaring down at the earth. It reminds me of an Old Testament curse, like this one in Deuteronomy:

“And the heavens over your head shall be bronze and the earth under you shall be iron.”

It looks like that around here: bronzey sky, iron hard earth, wave after wave of bad news on the national scene. Is it a curse? Or, in some paradoxical way, a blessing? Deuteronomy makes a clear distinction between the two. Obey me, says the Lord, and you will be blessed everywhere—in the field, in the house, in the community. Disobey me, and you will be cursed when you come in and when you go out.

He spoke these words to a child-like nation in the wilderness of Arabah, just before entering their promised land. Israel needed reminders and warnings and the clear distinctions of their covenant. Christ brought us a new covenant, where the moral distinctions are still clear, but the line between punishment and discipline isn’t, so much.

What is God doing now? Are we being punished, warned, or disciplined? Well, remember that God is never doing just one thing: he’s doing any number of things, to any number of people. Some are being judged, some punished, some forced to rethink their assumptions, and others just may look back on these miserable months as a blessing.

About ten years ago, on a torrid July noon, I was setting up for a church picnic in the park and thinking surly thoughts. Whose idea was it to plan a picnic in July, anyway? Oh yeah—mine. The first arrival, a relentlessly perky young lady, reminded me that weather is no barrier to a good time. She was right. The kids discovered a new cave to explore. The old folks chatted under the pavilion in a gentle breeze. Someone brought homemade root beer and someone else brought ice cream and voila! Root beer floats.

We were blessed.

In his farewell address, Moses reminded the people of their sojourn in the wilderness with its fiery serpents and thirsty ground, all so that God, quote, “might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.” Romans 8:28 comes to mind about God working all things together for good. I like the NIV translation better: “In all things God works for the good of those who love him.” In all things, He’s at work, and even if we don’t understand how, we can know for sure that it will do us good in the end.

I’m Janie B. Cheaney.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, August 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. It’s been a sweltering summer in much of the U.S. But WORLD commentator Janie B. Cheaney reminds us that weather is no obstacle to God’s good work.

JANIE B. CHEANEY, COMMENTATOR: For the Midwest, it's been the kind of summer that gives summer a bad name. The weather forecast is stuck on a blazing orange heat advisory. My garden is stuck, too: tomatoes refusing to turn red and corn refusing to fill out. Even the sun seems stuck in the sky, an angry eye glaring down at the earth. It reminds me of an Old Testament curse, like this one in Deuteronomy:

“And the heavens over your head shall be bronze and the earth under you shall be iron.”

It looks like that around here: bronzey sky, iron hard earth, wave after wave of bad news on the national scene. Is it a curse? Or, in some paradoxical way, a blessing? Deuteronomy makes a clear distinction between the two. Obey me, says the Lord, and you will be blessed everywhere—in the field, in the house, in the community. Disobey me, and you will be cursed when you come in and when you go out.

He spoke these words to a child-like nation in the wilderness of Arabah, just before entering their promised land. Israel needed reminders and warnings and the clear distinctions of their covenant. Christ brought us a new covenant, where the moral distinctions are still clear, but the line between punishment and discipline isn’t, so much.

What is God doing now? Are we being punished, warned, or disciplined? Well, remember that God is never doing just one thing: he’s doing any number of things, to any number of people. Some are being judged, some punished, some forced to rethink their assumptions, and others just may look back on these miserable months as a blessing.

About ten years ago, on a torrid July noon, I was setting up for a church picnic in the park and thinking surly thoughts. Whose idea was it to plan a picnic in July, anyway? Oh yeah—mine. The first arrival, a relentlessly perky young lady, reminded me that weather is no barrier to a good time. She was right. The kids discovered a new cave to explore. The old folks chatted under the pavilion in a gentle breeze. Someone brought homemade root beer and someone else brought ice cream and voila! Root beer floats.

We were blessed.

In his farewell address, Moses reminded the people of their sojourn in the wilderness with its fiery serpents and thirsty ground, all so that God, quote, “might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.” Romans 8:28 comes to mind about God working all things together for good. I like the NIV translation better: “In all things God works for the good of those who love him.” In all things, He’s at work, and even if we don’t understand how, we can know for sure that it will do us good in the end.

I’m Janie B. Cheaney.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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