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The Thunderstorm

When He utters His voice,

there is a tumult of waters in the heavens . . . [1]

Can anyone understand the

spreading of the clouds,

The thundering of His pavilion? [2]

Listen closely to the thunder of His voice,

And the rumbling that goes out from His mouth.

Under the whole heaven He lets it loose,

And His lightning to the ends of the earth. [3]

I’ve been sitting outside, listening to the rumbling thunder trying to decide just which direction to go. And I am thoroughly enjoying it! I’m hoping that the sky will get darker, the thunder will roll around the heavens and get louder, the lightning will begin trying to scare the gray sky away, and the wind will be a “torrent of darkness among the gusty trees”. [4] In other words, I love a good thunderstorm – the scary but harmless kind with a much louder bark than bite! In other words, just showing off. (Thunderstorms must be of the male gender!)

I can’t say the same for Wesley (my “pound” dog). Goodness, does he get jumpy when he hears the slightest roll of thunder even though it is miles away – and that fear escalates as the clouds get darker and the thunder gets louder. He crawls under my desk or under the bed or roams the house looking for shelter from his soon impending doom.

I’ve always been the one who would go outside and watch spellbound while God “rolled some barrels around, or moved furniture in the heavens, or the angels danced, or played with their flashlights”. Bill and I never exhibited fear or nervousness during stormy weather when the boys were growing up. We did not want them to be frightened of the storm. And it worked! They love to be hiking when the rain is pouring down, or putting up camp, or finishing a bike ride. The weather rarely deters them from plans they might have made.

We had the same desire to teach them to not be afraid when the “storms” of life crashed uninvited into their world. How could we accomplish that? By not exhibiting fear or nervousness when a storm comes crashing into our world. Does that mean a smiley face, singin’ in the rain, or acting real cool when the storm hits? “No problem. This isn’t going to get me down. I’m great!” No. I don’t think so.

I just received a note today from someone very special to me. One of her dear friends was a victim of MS, but that friend held tenaciously to her faith and encouraged everyone around her, even though she lived with isolation, constant pain, a broken heart from broken promises, and separation from her children. How did she keep bitterness, self-pity, and emotional strife from inundating her? If she can stand, can I stand? Romans 4:14: And stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” I can admire the person and want to face tragedy as she does, but “wanting” is too often fantasy and fragile. Only Christ can face the storms of life through me and for me with banners waving!

How do you mean, Anabel? Will I sense His power taking over? Does He speak to me? Will I be suddenly calm and unafraid? Not necessarily. Your emotions may not get into the act for a while, but then, they don’t know the Lord like you and I do. No. We throw our shoulders back, stick out our chest, raise our chin, and tell ourselves, “He is with me. He is going to work through me – I believe that! I claim that truth as my own!

Quit bugging me you silly emotions – everything is under His control.” Are you walking in denial? Are you “psyching” yourself up? Are you playing a game? No. You are walking in His truth, in His promises, enveloped in His love. This isn’t a false hope. This is trust. This is believing Him. This is the way He “makes us stand” when everything looks pretty bleak.

So, let the storm clouds roll and let God “move His furniture around” and let the sky get in the game with flashing rockets, sending out jagged invitations to everyone:

God is putting on a show for you. Come watch!

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees, [5]

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

the road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor . . .

Alfred Noyes

[1] Jeremiah 10:13

[2] Job 36:29

[3] Job 37:2-3

[4] The Highwayman: Alfred Noyes

[5] Ibid

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.