Read Nahum 1:3-9.
“His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet” (v. 3b).
In Virginia’s first-ever trip to the soccer national championship game, neither team won. The weather did.
The 1989 final four was played at Rutgers. Semifinal Saturday on Dec. 2 was clear and cold with subzero wind chills and a few flakes of snow. The weather seemed not to bother the Cavs, who blitzed the hosts 3-0 to set up the title game against Santa Clara.
The weather may have been only an inconvenience on Saturday, but it was the determining factor in the title game the next day. Where the field wasn’t covered with ice, it was frozen, and the players struggled to gain any traction. Temperatures dropped into the teens, pushing the wind chills to -30. Santa Clara’s Paul Bravo said, “Halfway through the first half, my face was pretty much frozen. I couldn’t get up enough energy to scream.”
The Cavs broke out first when Lyle Yorks delivered a corner kick to Richie Williams, who headed the ball across to Drew Fallon, who scored from six yards out. Late in the last half, Santa Clara tied the game at 1. The teams thus headed into overtime.
The problem was that because of the weather, the two teams “could have played forever . . . and nobody would have scored.” Some players couldn’t feel their feet on the ball, making dribbling upfield virtually impossible. The cold affected the ball, making it difficult to kick it more than twenty yards. “Overtime was cruel and unusual punishment,” but the teams played 60 minutes of it before being declared co-champions. The weather had won out.
Realizing the conditions had rendered the title game a “theater of the absurd,” the NCAA the next season put the finals up for bid and selected a site in sunny, warm Florida.
A thunderstorm washes away your golf game or the picnic with the kids. Lightning knocks out the electricity just as you settle in at the computer. A tornado interrupts your Sunday dinner and sends everyone scurrying to the hallway. A hurricane cancels your beach trip.
For all our technology and our knowledge, we are still at the mercy of the weather, able only to get a little more advance warning than in the past. The weather answers only to God. Cold temperatures are totally inconsiderate of something as important as a Cavalier soccer match or football game.
We stand mute before the awesome power of the weather, but we should be even more awestruck at the power of the one who controls it, a power beyond our imagining. Neither, however, can we imagine the depths of God’s love for us, a love that drove him to die on a cross for us.
The conditions were such that it wasn’t fair for the players to be out there anymore. -- UVa coach Bruce Arena on not having a clear-cut champion
The power of the one who controls the weather is beyond anything we can imagine,