Of course, we could only do this in the warmer months of the year, from about May to October. And even then, on any given Sunday, the weather could determine whether we met or not.
I remember well one Sunday when a severe thunderstorm suddenly appeared and sent us running for cover in a nearby pavilion. The service was cancelled and we were understandably disappointed.
I’ll never forget what one person said as we stood there watching the rain and listening to the thunder. “That devil – he didn’t want us to meet today! I hate it when he does something like this.”
This individual was blaming Satan for the postponement of our meeting and, unwittingly, giving him credit for the weather. I remember thinking on the way home, “Who controls the weather? The devil? Or the Creator of heaven and earth?”
I believe Psalm 29 sheds light on this question:
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forest bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
Psalm 29:3-5, 7-9
According to this passage, what we call “the forces of nature” is the voice of Almighty God. He causes the thunder and the lightning. His power unleashes the wind with such velocity that trees are stripped of their bark. Earthquakes are the work of God, as are tsunamis and hurricanes and tornadoes.
All these natural phenomenon are actually supernatural events that point us to the one whose strength is infinitely and unbelievably great. When you witness a storm, you are seeing a firsthand manifestation of the glory of God, for “the God of glory thunders.”
Make no mistake, our God controls of the weather, not Satan. Yes, there may be specific instances when Satan is given permission to use nature to wreak havoc on God’s people (see Job 1:19, for example), but this is only because God allows it within the realm of His perfect and sovereign will.
Ultimately, all that happens on this planet and throughout the mind-bending expanse of the universe is the work of King Jesus. “All things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). “He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses” (Psalm 135:7).
And for this, we worship Him in humble adoration. Along with the psalmist, may we “Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name” (Psalm 29:1-2).