“He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, “A shower is coming.” And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat,” and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?'” Luke 12:54-56
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert.” “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Acts 20:28-31; 1 Peter 5:8
Summer storms are nothing to trifle with, though wondrous to behold. How often do friendly conversations begin with a discussion of the weather? It is a point of common experience, and something everyone is affected by in some way. We can complain about the heat, or exaggerate the wind or cold, but never get to what really matters. What an accurate illustration of how we can treat as trivial great invisible power, even watching an afternoon storm in awe while unaware of the destruction it can unleash. Jesus says, ‘the weather is no small thing, and has lessons for us. You think you understand it and make rules by its changes, yet you fail to recognize its more important warnings.’
Recently we observed many who, oblivious to the menacing charcoal clouds that brewed over their shoulders, the escalating wind gusts, played on in the horizontal beauty of surf and sand. While we took action to get under shelter, dozens never looked up and read the sky, and were caught unaware in torrents of lightning, cracking thunder, sheets of rain. The natural warnings Creator God has set in place were not just ignored, they were never considered.
In our day, there is much weather to watch, many wolves to be aware of, and twisted words to catch. Jesus warned of His glorious return, reminding the disciples to watch, to be ready. He knew the tendency of man to make much of temporal things and little of the eternal. Alerted to the wiliness of the enemy, we are foolish not to heed scripture’s warnings, yet our tendency can be to get caught up in the surf of work, play, pontificating that our ears are deaf to truth’s alarm and our dimmed, distracted eyes never see the lightning.
Am I sober-minded? Is my thinking more informed by the holy scriptures than the culture’s droning of talk and in-your-face display? How alert am I to nuances of speech and world-view, the signs of the times, so I can avoid getting caught in the undertow of false security or the eddies of unsound reasoning? (Isaiah 33:5-6)
Lord, keep me steadfast and watchful, alert to Your word and world. Grant me discernment and wisdom, and increase my heart to help others heed Your warnings also. (Colossians 4:2)