We had really loud and extensive storms in the area the past several days, but last night took the cake. There was lightning and thunder like you couldn’t believe. The rain was pouring down harder than I remember it, at least for the last several years, and as trite as it sounds, it was one of those perfect storm moments.
Of course, the dog wouldn’t go out and in fact, she came in from the enclosed porch. It was clear that she was a little uncomfortable and nervous about the storm. Oddly, the louder it got the more I enjoyed it. By the time it was really crashing outside, I was almost serene. It brought back memories from my really distant past that I couldn’t put my finger on – until the rolling thunder really started a second time in earnest.
I stood in the kitchen and a small smile crept across my face as I was transported across the years back to when I was a really little boy. I remember being in my bedroom, my little bedroom above the garage and there was a terrific storm outside. There was no question about it – I was scared. My bedroom was around the corner and down two steps from my Mom and Dad. On the other hand, Doug’s room was right next to my parents and I really felt isolated from the rest of the family. As I remember it, this was way before our brother Ken was born so I had to be far younger than 7 years old. I think that Doug was still in a crib so it had to be when I was about 4.
Anyway, I was restless and Mom came in my room to say our prayers before I went to sleep. It was late. I even remember the prayer – “Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless Mommy, Daddy, Scott and Doug. Amen.” And just when I didn’t think I would sleep a wink all night, Mom asked me what I was scared about. We were inside and the storm couldn’t hurt us – but I just couldn’t get past it. So Mom told me to think about God up in heaven and the thunder I heard was God and His angels bowling! Sometimes, it seemed like the bowling ball was going right down the center of the lane and other times, it sounded more like a gutter ball.
Now, I realize that Mom was trying to get my mind off the storm and there may even be those among you who are critical of the story my Mom told me that evening but it really helped to calm down a really scared little boy. It even helped solidify in my mind the fact that God was in heaven, above us, and somehow it made Him more understandable to me – more “human” if you will. I know that this isn’t really what storms are all about but remembering that story got me through some really tough times.
I haven’t thought about that night until the storm last evening. It sounded just like the rolling thunder from my childhood and that long lost memory came rushing back to me. It was a real blessing – thinking about my mother and how she spent time with me that night. The verse for tonight is from the Psalms. We are told, in Ps. 77:17-18, “The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.” That’s quite a picture of the power of God, isn’t it?
My encouragement this evening is that God is the God of everything and even when you are concerned or scared, God is interested in having you know that He is there. My prayer is that you will help people draw closer to God, whether they are very young or more advanced in their years. Furthermore, that God will be an incredibly important part of your life, as He was to my mother and now is to me. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…