The Oasis - January 22, 2020

Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
January 22, 2020

January 22, 2020
by Pastor Dan

     Saturday night snowstorms are a dreaded phenomenon in my profession. Church is Sunday morning and the snow is coming down; what do you do? How do you handle this? What could go wrong? And then if you’re like me and you’re a pastor who doesn’t live in a parsonage or on the church grounds, will you be able to dig out and actually get  to church?
     Yesterday was so very cold. Today it’s actually pretty nice (as long as you’re out in the sun). This weekend we might have a rainstorm. It’s like rolling the dice every time you look out the window. And sometimes you roll snake-eyes and the universe conspires to make your life (or your commute) the hardest it’s ever been.
     We think we know how things work. We have utility companies with dedicated linemen. We have our most rugged sisters and brothers behind the snowplows and the sanders. We have cell towers and emergency services and our old New England spirit to keep us warm.
     But in the dark of the night when the wind howls through the eaves, the roof creaks under the weight of the ice, and the temperature drops another degree… nature shows us that we don’t know anything.
     In the book of Job, God shows Job that the universe he thought he understood is so much bigger and scarier and more complicated than he ever could have imagined. All Job’s plans and preparations and cause-and-effect rationalizations meant very little in the face of the God of ice and snow.
     Does that mean we stop preparing? Does that mean we succumb to fear and helplessness in the face of a universe we could never truly conquer?
     Of course not. We may be tiny, fragile things clinging to skin of an inscrutable world, but when the night is coldest, darkest, and full of terrors… we remember that the God that births the ice and snow is the same God that birthed the plow driver.

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? … From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven? The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.” Job 38: 22-23, 29-30

Pastor Dan’s song of the week: “Feeling Good,” sung by Nina Simone

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