I love rain and just about anything to do with it; thunder, lightning, wind, puddles – they all add to the experience. I can be a happy wet camper listening to the rain on the canvas roof or a wanna-be storm chaser following the raging clouds across the land. I have stood on a mountain top arms outstretched in a down pour and huddled in a tent with a good book and the pitter-patter of rain drops lulling me into a late afternoon snooze. There is just something about it that quiets my soul while assuring me that there is someone bigger than me.
This has not always been the case. I can remember when I was a little kid being terribly frightened of storms…especially at night. At the first sound of rumble or the distant flicker of lightning through the window I would duck beneath my blankets as far as I could and drill my fingers into my ears to block out the sound and bury my eyes in a pillow to block out the flashes. Every so often I would open an ear and peek out the corner of an eye to see and hear if the storm had passed and then cower again at the sight and sound of the storm.
As a kid I had no idea what all the noise was or an understanding of lightning. I knew it was loud and blinded my eyes and was unpredictable. Over the years as I grew to understand what storms were and how they grew and moved and changed, I became less afraid and more amazed. I learned to see the beauty in a flash of lightning and hear a distant rumble as a signal to get ready for the show – like an orchestra warming up before a concert and then the house lights flashing to let you know it was about to begin. I allowed myself to sit back and watch the storm approach, feel its fury, and then pass on by. It came, did what storms do, then moved on…and I was still here. It didn’t consume me. It didn’t pick me up and take me with it and then drop me somewhere when it was through. It didn’t hurt me.
Now, I know that some storms do have the ability to do all of those things, and I have experienced some pretty terrible storms that have caused damage. Sometimes storms that come along are too ferocious and unpredictable to just sit and watch and you have to run and hide. But there is one thing I know: the Good Lord brings the storms along your path to change you or change your place. The storms reveal who we really are and how we need to change and sometimes show us that we are on the wrong path and need to turn back or start over…often they do both at the same time.
Sometimes the gentle rumble and flash of light is just the Good Lord letting you know he’s there in the clouds…do not be afraid, just be alert…he may be getting ready to show you something.