The last Langstaff Letter brought some interesting responses about ‘The Weather, Natural Disasters and God.’ Also, we received some stories about the weather that we want to share with you.
GEORGE MUELLER AND A FOG
George Mueller is well known for the powerful answers to prayer in regard to the orphanages he founded in Bristol, England. This is another story told by evangelist Charles Inglis.
When I first came to America thirty-one years ago, I crossed the Atlantic with the captain of a steamer who was one of the most devoted men I ever knew; and when we were off the banks of Newfoundland he said to me, ‘Mr Inglis, the last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, one of the most extraordinary things happened that has completely revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. Up to that time I was one of your ordinary Christians. We had a man of God on board, George Mueller, of Bristol. I had been on the bridge for twenty-two hours and never left it. I was startled by someone tapping me on the shoulder. It was George Mueller.
‘Captain,’ said he, ‘I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.’ This was Wednesday.
‘It is impossible,’ I said.
‘Very well, if your ship can’t take me, God will find some other means of locomotion to take me. I have never broken an engagement in fifty-seven years.
‘I would willingly help you, but how can I? I am helpless.’
‘Let us go down to the chart room, and pray,’ he said.
‘I looked at this man and thought to myself, ‘What lunatic asylum could the man have come from? I had never heard of such a thing.’
‘Mr Mueller,’ I said, ‘do you know how dense this fog is?’
‘No,’ he replied, ‘my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.’
He went down on his knees, and he prayed one of the most simple prayers. I thought to myself, ‘That would suit a children’s class, where the children were not more than eight or nine years of age.’ The burden of his prayer was something like this, ‘O Lord, if it is consistent with Thy will, please remove this fog in five minutes. You know the engagement You made for me in Quebect for Saturday. I believe it is Your will.’
When he finished, I was going to pray, but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray.
‘First,’ he said, ‘you do not believe God will do it, and second, I believe He has done it. And there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.’
￼I looked at him, and George Mueller said this, ‘Captain, I have know my Lord for fifty-seven years and there has never been a single day that I have failed to gain an audience with the King. Get up, Captain, and open the door, and you will find the fog is gone.’ I got up, and the fog was gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec.
Dave and Connie Keating have been missionaries in Zambia for a number of years. These are stories about facing tornadoes, written by his wife Connie.
Dave Keating was mayor of Thorp, Wisconsin from 1980-1988. During that time a tornado was heading for our town. Since we knew that Dave had the authority in town we went into our front yard and commanded that the tornado not touch Thorp. We commanded that the tornado go back up into the cloud a mile outside of town and not come back down until a mile on the other side of town. (Thorp was about 1 square mile, 1600 people). The tornado obeyed and went up into the cloud a mile outside of town and didn’t come back down until a mile on the other side of town.
Another time Dave was on the 10th floor of a hotel with his dad in Kansas City, MO and there were 9 tornadoes in the area. He commanded them not to touch the hotel he was in. The first floor windows were blown out but the tornadoes did not touch the hotel.
THE MARY SISTERS IN DARMSTADT GERMANY
The Mary Sisters was a religious order founded by Basilea Schlink. They had a particular message about the importance of repentance. In this story, from the book Realities, repentance is linked with the weather during a time they were constructing a building at their center.
In the Autumn of 1950, in the midst of building operations, it rained every day – veritable downpours. No one could remember a year like it. Even when it didn’t rain in the city nearby, it seemed that all the clouds emptied themselves over our building site.
Our sisters not only got thoroughly drenched, but the walls couldn’t be erected. The bricks slipped back and forth on the mortar, and no progress was made. When it did clear up it was only on Sundays. The working days continued to be plagued by these downpours.
Mother Martyria and I tried to lead our spiritual daughters to the inner conviction that this was an expression from God. But the Sisters who were working on the building site tell it this way.
‘We were altogether unwilling to accept this at the time. We didn’t want to be blamed for everything. We explained the rain by natural causes which satisfied our reason — even though the Scripture so often states that the weather, the clouds, the waves and the storms are governed by God; that He closes the heavens and opens them; that He gives or withholds the rain for a given area, according to whether He wishes to punish it or not. Of course, our prayers for dry weather could find no answer because of this state of mind.
‘One day it was raining hard again, and we fled into the prayer tent and prayed together. Then suddenly one Sister confessed her sin – her resentment toward God – and said that she was to blame for the rain. Others followed. One after another they bowed down in repentance, as God’s Spirit pointed out their sins. And behold, when the last one had confessed the rain stopped. This same thing occurred afterwards, on several other occasions. So we experienced something of the truth of this Scripture: And I also withheld the rain from you . . . . ; I would send rain upon one city, and send no rain upon another city; one field would be rained upon, and the field on which it did not rain withered (Amos 4:7); if you . . . observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season. . . (Leviticus 26:3-4).
‘The Lord had given us something to think about through these rain experiences. Only cleansed hands, only prayers from a meek publican heart, are acceptable to God and will be answered. Would the two masons who instructed the Sisters in the work grasp what had happened? We wondered about that. At any rate a little saying grew up between them. When the first drops of rain would fall, and the Sisters would at once disappear into the then, they would soon say wryly to one another:”Relax. As soon as the Sisters get together in the tent, it’ll stop.”‘
There were also some questions regarding natural disasters in the book of Job, where in Chapter 1 it refers to a fire from heaven and a mighty wind bringing death and destruction to Job’s children, his servants and his sheep. (See Job 1:16, 18-19)
The implication is that it was the devil who sent the fire and the wind. People differ on how to interpret Job and who was responsible for what. Interestingly, the fire is described as ‘the fire of God.’ So whilst the devil was directly involved, it only happened in as much as, on this occasion, God allowed the devil to test Job. Job himself confesses in verse 21 that it is ‘the Lord who takes away’ attributing it to God.