In the mid-1800s, Francis Beaufort and Robert FitzRoy are credited with developing weather forecasting (meteorology) as a science. As Royal Navy officers in England, they had many contacts in both the Navy and government so even though the press ridiculed them, their work gained the credence it deserved in a short time. The first ever daily weather forecasts began to be published in the London Times on August 1, 1861. The methods may have been upgraded, but almost all weather forecasting today is based upon the work of Beaufort and FitzRoy. Yet weathermen have one thing against them—one really big thing.
A few years ago we had a rainy winter, and then a rainy spring. The summer isn't such a problem because the subtropical sun boils the water out of the ground fairly quickly in spite of constant afternoon thunderstorms. But on cool days, even with much lower humidity than summer, puddles and boggy ground last much longer. Rivers and creeks overflow. Sometimes country roads become impassable. Farmers lament their inability to get into the fields where there is standing water here and there and miry bogs everywhere else, and know that even if they could plant, the seed would rot in the saturated soil instead of germinating. And all that water can breed mosquitoes almost overnight.
So on a weekend when we had already measured over three inches of rain and a 90% chance of "heavy rain" was predicted for two more days, we were a little concerned. We prayed hard for God to send us clear skies and no more rain. That is exactly what He did. The puddles dried fairly quickly, and the dark, wet ground began to look like pale gray Florida sand again.
And that is the poor old weatherman's problem. For a week he had predicted heavy rains those two days, and he turned out wrong. Was he wrong because his science was wrong? No, he was wrong because he is not the one in control. We make fun of him all the time—"He never gets it right"—which is probably not accurate in itself. He does get it right fairly often. But think of what he has going against him. Think of all the Christians out there praying that he will be wrong, and a Heavenly Father who listens to His children and often does what they ask. The weatherman doesn't stand a chance. That he gets anything right is a notable thing, and once again only due to a Father who has ordered the world to run in a certain way, on a certain timetable of seasons, fronts, and heat waves.
Or do we believe that? I think I have some brothers and sisters who don't. Then why do you pray at all, may I ask? Maybe we don't get what we ask for because we don't truly believe it is even possible to receive it.
Who do you believe? God or the poor, old weatherman?
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him (1John 5:14-15).