"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thunder and Lightning, Oh My

Anybody but me awakened in the middle of the night Sunday evening by the storm? I had heard rumbles of thunder when getting in bed but it was nothing compared to what woke me up about midnight. Laying on my side, I wrapped my arm around my head and placed my hand over my ear in an attempt to muffle some of the noise. Like that would have helped. And then I became aware there was a presence in the room with me; my daughter standing right by my bed. She wanted me to know that a tree had fallen somewhere nearby -- she had heard it. I thought maybe she was really scared and had come to get in bed with her daddy and me, and so I offered: "Do you want to crawl in here with us?" After all, that's what she's done all of her life. Was I really disappointed when she responded, "No, I prayed and asked God to protect our house"? And then she turned around and walked out of the bedroom. She's getting married in 5 months for crying out loud! Couldn't she afford me one more night of snuggling through a storm? [sigh]

Anyway, about that time, a bolt hit so close that I was sure we had been the target. It even blew the night light out in the bathroom! Sandy got up to check the place, just to make sure all was okay. After all, lightning was the culprit of Saturday afternoon's downtown fire which damaged a number of buildings. But God had indeed protected us just as Marynan had prayed. (And, no, the close bolt did not make her run back to her Mommy. [another sigh])

By this time, I was sitting straight up in bed wide awake and "capturing a moment, " if you will. The two most fearsome displays of power known to the Hebrew children were thunder and lightning. They associated the two with the Lord's coming to bring about either redemption or judgment. Oh, how I hoped Sunday evening's storm was about redemption! I couldn't help but be reminded though of the children of Israel "standing from afar" and hearing God "speak" through the thunder on Mt. Sinai. For a moment, I tried to place myself in their shoes. I imagined the fear, the awe, the reverence it must have provoked.

An interesting portion of Job 26 reads, Thunder crashes and rumbles in the skies. Listen! It's God raising His voice! ... And this is only the beginning, a mere whisper of His rule. Whatever would we do if He really raised His voice! I sat there for a few moments, not really afraid, but fully aware of the power of God and majesty that was at work around me -- knowing that this was not a full display but only a small portion of what He could do if He "really raised His voice." It became a sacred moment for me; one in which I felt fully alive -- not to mention fully awake!

Some storms give us warnings with rumbles of thunder and others wake us up out of a hard sleep. Some are just tenacious enough to get our attention; others violent enough to awaken us to new depths and strong enough to shake us to the roots. The question is are we going to marvel in the majesty and power of God in our storm or just lay there with our ears and eyes covered? Are we going to worship God on the mountain or are we going to worship Him from afar. One is safe. The other is living.


constantlyrunningtoHim said...

Yes we did have thunder and lightning Sunday night and I think I re-set the alarm clock twice, that I remember. These days my body seems to wake up anyway around 5:55 EVEN ON VACATION! It wasn't so bad at our house but Haynesville is a whole different area code. When everyone else gets rain we don't. We DID get one inch of rain Monday night and we were singing the praises to our King! Dennis has a garden planted and when it rains, OH MY! There is something about God's refreshing rain. You can physically see the difference in the plants and vegetables after a good rain compared to the daily watering with tap water. They all just perk up and grow so fast and look colorful and bold in a sense. Sound crazy? Not really. I think if they could talk they would be saying "PRAISE GOD!" or "THANK YOU GOD!" Now I know it's just a plant but look around at our beautiful outdoors. This time of year God continues to bless us with sooo many beautiful simple things. Ever noticed how thick and lush the woods are? Even down to the itsy bitsy spider with all her babies in a web in the woods somewhere. How cool is that? I pray that you stop for a minute in your crazy hectic day and capture a God moment, there are so many...

Patti said...

I used to be very, very afraid of storms! I would cry and my stomach would hurt when I was a little girl and I would crawl up in my mom’s lap, then just anxiety as a teenager and college student. As you know, literature is not my strong point nor did I like literature in school. I am a very black and white thinker (science and math are my things) and the symbolism and allegories drove me nuts. I read most pieces at face value so my friend , who loved journalism, had to explain the poems and stuff to me. I had to take some Lit. classes in college, so I signed up for Early American Lit. I was very excited to find out it was mostly the Puritan writers so most pieces had a Biblical origin. I thought that was way cool and I might just make a good grade in Lit that quarter!! We read works by Jonathon Edwards, and I read a piece in which he described the voice of God much like in the Psalms--as “thundering”, or like the sound of many waters or rushing waters. That was the turning point on my view of storms. I began to see them as the work of God, the thunder was as His voice—loud, commanding of your attention, heard for miles and miles, powerful. From then on I cherished a good summertime thunderstorm and would stop life to watch the lightening and listen to the thunder. Patrick and I spent many a date watching thunderstorms. I love to read the Psalmists’ describe how God controls the storms, sends the lightening where He chooses. Also in Auburn there was a state park with a huge waterfall. You could climb to the top and sit right where the water went over the edge. The rushing water was so loud you had to shout to the person next to you if you wanted to talk. It made me think of God’s voice also.

I have yet to welcome the storms of life. But I have been through enough now, @ the ripe old age of 42, to know I am always in the palm of my Lord Jesus and it is He alone who provides my strength, comfort, peace, wisdom, and anchor to navigate through the storm. He is in control, no matter what. He will carry me through. He has blessed me and my family beyond imagination, taken us through storms only He could weather, and ALL for His Glory!!

Thanks for blogging—your writings always move me!!