It was the third Saturday of the month and Ruth’s dad, James, was busy supervising the preparations for that day’s event. He was very satisfied with the plan God had revealed to him to invite his children over to his home for a family meeting every two months on the third Saturday of the second month.
He was looking forward to seeing Ruth, her siblings and their children. He had a chef who came over to cook for the family. He always organized fun and games for his grandchildren to play out in the garden.
The purpose of the family meetings was for everyone to get updated on the goings on in the lives of the family members. James was very concerned about his children and was eager to help out where he could.
James mirrored his family life on the life of Job. He desired to know God like Job knew God and to treat his children the way Job treated his children.
Job 1:1, 5 – 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil……….. 5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
James was determined that his children would get to know God in the same way that He knew God. He had six children, 3 girls and 3 boys. Of all his children, Ruth was the one who was closest to God. The others were Christians but they did not take God as seriously as James would have wanted. James saw this as his failure and prayed fervently for God to help him bring his children to loving God as much as he did. So far he had managed to convince all of them to go to church every Sunday. They were however too relaxed about their faith. When James talked to them, he felt that they needed to get as excited about God as he was.
James made it his life’s purpose to make sure that one day, all his children got baptised, became church members and incorporated the worship of God in their homes. He was a very generous father and worried that perhaps his generosity made the children complacent. Apart from the bi-monthly meetings that he hosted at his home, James even organized holidays for his entire family once a year.
Many a time he questioned whether he was doing too much and whether his children saw his kindness and generosity as a lifelong apology to them for the wrongs he committed during his drinking days rather than as him being the Christian father that God had shown him to be. He wondered whether he should start excluding some of the children from the events he organized for the family as a way of pushing them to be more receptive to God. He did not think such an option made sense because he loved all his children equally regardless.
For today’s event, James had fasted and prayed and asked God to show him what else he can do for his children to bring them closer to God. He was thrilled when the idea of giving a talk to his children entered his mind. He understood that his fatherhood was his ministry and therefore it made sense for him to preach to his children. He was not sure of what to talk about and had consulted his church pastor to help him. He was quite pleased with the talk and he even planned that in future events he would invite various people to give talks to his children.
Everyone arrived on time with some even coming in early. All of James’ children loved their parents dearly. It had not always been that way. James had worked hard to restructure himself and his family since the days of his drinking ended. When he sent out the invitations for the family meetings, he gave a dress code. He had told all his children that he expected them to dress up well for these functions. He even sent each child some money to ensure that they have no excuse not to comply with the dress code.
After the eating and drinking the grandchildren were sent outside to engage in the various activities set up for them in the garden. All of James’ children sat together in the living room and talked about the goings on in their lives. When they were done with that, James introduced his time to give a talk. The children turned to each other with questioning looks. One of the sons asked how long the talk was going to last and explained that there was a football match coming on soon which he really needed to watch. James assured him that the talk would be not more than ten minutes with a question and answer session afterwards for maybe another ten minutes.
James immediately launched into his talk before the children thought of shooting his idea down. “My dear children welcome for the first of our family talks. The purpose of these talks is to help me communicate to you what I know about God. In future, I will be inviting various people to give talks to you. This is a way of helping you learn more about God and gain more confidence in believing that indeed there is a God who we all depend on. Today I want to talk to you about the weather.”
He talked about how God created the earth and everything in it including the sun, moon and stars.
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
He told his children about how Jesus controlled the weather when he walked the earth.
Matthew 8:23-27 – 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
He explained that whereas men had made a lot of progress in trying to control the world and advances in science were phenomenal, men had never figured out how to control the weather. The sun did what God asked it to do from creation until now. So did the moon and the stars. Nobody had ever been able to control the weather elements including the wind and the rain. Flooding was still happening and natural disasters were unavoidable.
The weather and its elements are evidence that indeed, men are not in control of the world they live in. The only progress men have ever been able to make is to try and figure out or understand God’s creation. They are however not able to reach anywhere close to being able to do what God can do.
Isaiah 55:8-9 – 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God comes in where men can clearly see they are not in control. It makes no sense at all to claim there is no God when you are not in control of your future. The only sensible thing for men to do is to acknowledge that inasmuch as they are not in control, there is someone who is and that is God.
After the talk, the children told James that they had never actually seen themselves as powerless as his talk made them feel. One of them exclaimed and said, “it is so true that there is no amount of power, influence or money that can control the weather.” “Gosh Dad, that was a very insightful talk,” said one of the daughters. “Dad, there is something I would like to ask you as a man,” said one of his sons, “I am a man. How do I make my family feel safe if I am not in control?”
“Good question son,” responded James holding back his joy at how well the talk had gone. “The answer is simple. Your security should come from God. You need to humble yourself before your family and show them that the control you have over your own life and over what happens to them comes from God. Just like I am doing with you now.”