This morning I awoke to a storm. Instead of the pre-dawn grey and the twittering of swallows as they flit around my porch, I awoke to darkness lit only by brilliant streaks of lightening and the sound of rolling thunder. The whistle of high winds screamed through my open windows and I hurried to close them against the oncoming blasts of rain.
A summer thunderstorm can be intimidating, especially in the darkness of night, but as I filled my cup with hot, steaming, coffee and sat down in the dark to enjoy the sound of rain, my heart rejoiced. Even the clinks of small hail hitting the windows did not daunt my pleasure. We have endured a long, dry, season and so the rain – even if it comes with damaging hail and high winds – is a welcome relief. I can tend to any damage once the storm passes, but I can never water the parched land with the abundance that falls from the heavens, and so, I rejoice and do not worry about what may be destroyed. I am thankful to be awake in the dark of predawn to enjoy the wind and the rain and to listen to the sound of blessings.
Have you ever awaked as if from sleep to find yourself in the middle of a storm? I know when I was raising teenagers, there were a few times I was jolted out of a comfortable place of rest to discover a raging storm. It was very frightening and it dropped me to my knees in tears, trembling with fear. Like the disciples, I found myself crying out, “Lord, save us: we perish!”
Although through long and turbulent years I have learned that the Lord is sovereign and worthy of faith and trust, when I was awakened in the midst of those storms I was terrified. As I watched the wind rage and the listened to the thunder roll, I forgot that rain is life giving. I was so afraid that I would permanently lose something I treasured or something that took me long years to build; I did not realize that most of what is damaged by a storm is man-made and replaceable, but nothing can replace the life-giving water that falls when clouds cover the sun and all seems dark. I may be able to sustain with the water that I pump from the ground – water that I did not create – but nothing ever flourishes with water that flows from the end of a hose quite like it does when water falls from the heavens.
Even today, when small flurries hit my life, I quickly forget that I have lost far more to drought than I have ever lost to wind or hail, and then I remember the words of our Lord to his disciples in that story recorded in Matthew 8, “Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?” and I wonder why I fear the storms of life when even the wind and the seas obey the one to whom I belong. So as I sit and enjoy the rain this morning – even as the electricity flickers and goes off – I am filled with great gladness. Even the loss of power reminds me that the one who powers the universe, has control over the storm.