Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”
“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”
Then Haggai said, “‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
“‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on—consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple. When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,’ declares the Lord. ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
“‘From this day on I will bless you.’”
- Haggai 2:13-19
I have been irritated with the weather coverage of late. My television viewing had become even more restricted since live sports are cancelled, even Australian Footy. Pardon me, but I cannot manufacture excitement, or even interest, in a college basketball game that was played twenty years ago. I can find the final score online, and I doubt if the players can play like that anymore.
But with the recent coverage about the latest heat wave, I have become angered. When a young bubbly meteorologist smiles at the camera and essentially calls all winter lovers insane, that creams my corn, to borrow an expression. She said that her favorite temperature was 87F. The storm specialist with her claimed 92F as his favorite. Maybe that is due to the fact that with that high of a temperature and a low-pressure system nearby, you might get a severe storm, giving him something to report.
I grew up in the South. I prayed for breaks in the hot weather. The high-pressure overhead may give the heat lovers clear skies, but with it comes oppressive heat. As one meteorologist said that the high-pressure was our friend – not. My mother refused to ever turn on the air conditioning. My insomnia and heat stress started at a young age, anything to cool off. As a result, I was in the Army, just outside Washington, DC with the temperature about 105F, when I was first diagnosed with a heat disorder.
When you have had heat exhaustion, it becomes more likely to get it again, or even a heat stroke. About twenty years after my first case of heat exhaustion, I went to work for a company that built industrial furnaces. For twenty years, I dealt with hot environments, even on cold days, but I could step away when I was starting to feel bad. However, I did not acclimate well.
What are the conditions that can make you more susceptible to heat disorders, besides not acclimating to the temperature change slowly? Age, Weight, Physical Conditioning, Prior Heat Related Problems, Diabetes, Heart Conditions, Metabolism Issues, Drug use (prescription, over-the-counter, and illegal), and alcohol use. Of these, I do not use illegal drugs and I do not drink alcohol. I have the rest.
So, if you are reading this, folks in the weather community, quit being insensitive. Some people who like the winter might like it for reasons other than the snow. We are not insane. In fact, if the weather gets above 70F, what most normal people think comfortable, I begin to feel like I have the flu. With viruses running around, I cannot afford to start getting the symptoms.
And before I leave the complaint department, the word is ‘forward.’ It is not pronounced “Foe Word.” Someone may have said that the wrong pronunciation sounds better on the airwaves, but I think it sounds like you don’t know what you are saying.
And now, for the rest of the story (I hope Paul Harvey doesn’t mind the use of his catch phrase…).
Yesterday, we had thunderstorm, severe weather, and tornado watches and warnings all day long. Every five minutes, the same voice interrupted the program to say what condition we had, making it hard to understand what the program was saying and easier and easier to ignore the warnings, and I’m a safety-minded person that heeds warnings. I opened my weather app and looked at the hourly report. The storm was not due until 4:00pm. Why warn us at 7:00am? It was sunny up until 3:30pm when the National Weather Service interrupted television programming to tell us to get to a safe place.
Knowing that I had 30 minutes, I grabbed a few books, not knowing how long this would be. I put on some shoes in case the house collapsed, and I needed to step around broken wood with rusty nails and broken glass. I always have hats nearby, some are hardhats. And then I went downstairs to my basement ‘office.’ It never got very dark, but the photo is of the peak of the storm, just before the hail started. Yes, I was a bad boy. When I realized that we were not at the center of the storm, I went to the back porch when the rain was horizontal, thus a raindrop or two on the lens. We did not get hit with the worst of the storm, and I pray for the safety of others as I type this. Of course, now there is a flash flood warning every five minutes.
The hail is why I chose the Scripture from Haggai. Hail was the seventh plague of Egypt. Hail is prominent in the end time prophecies. And hail is mentioned above as judgment upon the land. Yet, God ends the proclamation of His punishment with a promise that He will bless them.
I was blessed. The storm passed with no broken windows, much smaller hail than expected. They were expecting golf balls. There were no dents in the car that I could see. I’ll look tomorrow if the rain stops. Dampness can sometimes hide small cosmetic dents. In a way, I might have dodged a big one, or was that God moving the storm’s trajectory in an answer to prayer?
All I know is that hail will continue to fall on the earth, and when God’s prophecy through the Apostle John comes to pass, there will be some really nasty hail. Come to think of it, I don’t ever remember hail when I was growing up. Sleet, but never hail. My first hailstorm was in San Francisco in the late 80s. And it seems that the hail is getting bigger each year.
God, comfort those who have not faired so well in the storms of late, and God, have mercy on us.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.