Cloudy With a Chance of Faith Builders

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Cloudy With a Chance of Faith Builders

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As a child, I read voraciously. Books were a window into other lives and worlds and fed my active imagination. Book fair days at school were met with eager anticipation. As I’ve grown, many of the books I read when I was younger have faded from memory. But there are a few that have stuck with me. One of those is Judi Barrett’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I was fascinated by the comical and delicious scenario of edible weather. There was soup and juice rain, mashed potato snow, storms of hamburgers and pancakes, pea soup fog and more. Just recalling the story brings a smile to my face. It is a fun book.

As I was reminiscing about it recently, it got me thinking about how accepting I am about one of the most obvious uncontrollable elements of life on this planet: the weather. If it’s sunny and warm outside, I try to get outside more and wear lighter clothes. If it’s rainy and windy, I pack a rain jacket with a hood that I can cinch tightly. We all adapt to the weather, and I generally have a good attitude about it because wringing my hands and complaining about it won’t make one raindrop go away.

Yet much of our lives is uncontrollable. We have no say in how other people speak to or treat us, we have no way to offset a financial downturn that rips away a job or a retirement portfolio, we are largely at the mercy of others for the quality of our food and water supplies, we cannot protect against pollution’s potentially adverse health effects or what genetic predispositions we may have that create physical limitations. Despite my lack of being able to influence many of these things, most of them can get me pretty emotionally worked up. I will complain vociferously and often about many uncontrollable matters to all my (very patient) friends and family members. But ultimately, it’s in all the uncontrollable elements of life where I need to turn everything over to God. 

Like most Christians I know, faith can be a challenging component of character to build. God gives us plenty of opportunities to work on developing faith—through His Word (Romans 10:17), through the examples of men and women of faith in our lives and in the Bible (Hebrews 11), our relationship with our Savior (Hebrews 12:1-2) and often by working through various uncontrollable situations in life (Romans 8:28). Let’s take a deeper dive into that last scripture and Romans 8 because it is filled with tremendous hope and encouragement for us. 

The passage reads: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us . . . And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose . . . What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:18, Romans 8:28, Romans 8:31, Romans 8:35).

The storms of life can at times seem overwhelming, but we have a Creator that epitomizes love (1 John 4:8) and all its facets (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), and He wants all of us to make the choices that will result in entrance into His eternal Kingdom (2 Peter 3:9-14). God gives us plenty of opportunities to build the character that He wants in us, often in the face of uncontrollable circumstances. It’s in these times that we need to look to the One who made us; who knows us so much better than we know ourselves. We need to ask Him for help, seek out His voice in His Word and live that Word with the guidance of His Spirit. 

Though we may not be troubled with meatball hail or milky rain, we are often beset by emotional, spiritual and mental storms amid things that are beyond our control. It’s during these times that God wants us to grow in the only two things we will ever get to take with us beyond this physical life: our character and our relationships (with Him and with other people). If you are struggling right now, ask God to strengthen your shield of faith, and He will do so (James 1:17; Matthew 7:7-11; Ephesians 6:16). It’s oh so encouraging to know that God always has our best interests at heart and will help us in ways that we uniquely need.

Remember that if there are storms on your horizon, the weather forecast just might be cloudy with a chance of faith-builders.