A dark and stormy night, it was.
I had intended to ask Snoopy for help with my opening sentence, but he is nowhere to be found, probably hiding from the frightening flashes and booms himself. It was indeed, a dark and stormy night.
Was. A shockingly short, but powerfully reassuring, word.
Was. Past tense. Over. Done with.
Right now, there is not a creature to be seen anywhere. All of them took shelter from the noise and commotion. But, come morning, the skies will be alive with birds and flying insects. The air will fairly ring with the celebration of re-creation.
The dogs in my backyard, cowering now between the floor joists of the storage building (their sturdy house seems not to be substantial enough for their reassurance during a thunderstorm), will cover their owner with muddy paw and nose prints as they leap and cavort at his appearing.
For now, the rain falls, a steady cascade of water from the heavens.
A gentle rumble of thunder bullies its way across the sky above, bringing to mind the assault of powers from on high against these earth-bound edifices only moments past.
I sit in the quiet and give thanks for the calm, life-giving draught that enriches the earth below. Mankind has done it from time immemorial. Water gives life. When it is withheld, death will follow. How would we not be grateful?
But, as I sit, listening thankfully to the gentle and rhythmic thump of rain on the metal roof above me, I am uneasy. I have a sense of restlessness, as if I’ve forgotten something important.
Now, what was it?
Perhaps, I want to forget.
The thunder grumbles across the wide expanse above again and I remember. I might want to forget, but the question will not be silenced that easily.
If God is in the rain, that peaceful, life-giving source of fresh hope, where is He when the storms blow in?
As does all of nature, we cower from the raging lightning and wind-whipped raindrops. The explosions of thunder do no real harm, save to terrify and remind us of the potential for death and destruction that awaits right outside our hiding place.
Why don’t we give thanks for the storms?
I don’t love storms. Once, I thought I did. I was younger then.
Now, I know their potential for destruction. I realize the repairs that will need to be effected after they have had their way. Insurance adjusters will be called; shingles will be tacked down; broken branches will be hauled away.
I can’t help it. I’m humming with the Fab Four as they declare whimsically, “I’m fixing the hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering.”
When we are made aware of an issue, failure to address it only guarantees we’ll be able to accomplish nothing else until it is repaired. Water dripping into a bucket is a distraction that will not be ignored.
The realization is profound. Perhaps, you already see it.
The result of the storm is that we work to make things better. Stronger. More able to withstand the next storm. Regardless of the hardship in between, the storm leaves us better off.
Storms motivate us to become better than we were.
Gentle rains merely make us more comfortable.
Thankful, but comfortable with what we have grown accustomed to.
Somehow, better seems to be preferable to comfortable.
The brother of our Savior, assured us that the result of these storms will not only be better. He claims the result will, in the end, be perfection. (James 1:2-3)
Perfection. We’re not there yet. Well, I’m not, anyway.
The storms keep pounding.
I’m trying to be grateful for them, too. In everything, be thankful. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
God is in the storm.
Perfection is around the corner. Or, perhaps the one after that.
Oh. I’ll keep fixing the holes, too.
You know—my mind still needs to wander.
You lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
flames of fire are your servants.
(Psalm 104:3,4 ~ NLT)
At your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
(Psalm 104:7,8 ~ NIV)
There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.
(Showers of Blessing ~ Daniel W Whittle ~ American evangelist ~ 1840-1901)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.