After a week of welting heat surpassing the 100 degree marker, we finally got a much needed thunderstorm last night which yielded refreshment from heaven for all the earth. And there my two-year old was—in the midst of all the crashing thunder across the electrocuted sky, rain beating against his window—standing on his bed against the glass, yelling at the storm.
At first I thought he was frightened, so I trekked up the stairs to comfort him. But as I approached, I realized he wasn’t scared. I could hear him yelling and cackling, “Hey! What you doin out there? It’s night night time out there!” Maddeningly drunk with laughter, he railed at the storm with playful delight.
As another lightning bolt would fire up the sky, he’d pull his head back and stretch his arms out to the side as far as they’d go, laughing and yelling, “Whooooa!” He was utterly enthralled by the storm, mystified with the beauty and loudness and wonder and awe of it all.
And then there was me. I just watched a TV show, piddled around the house, then got ready for bed. Nothing to see here folks, just a thunder storm. Everybody get back to business as usual. Meanwhile the dog tried to hunker down under the bed as far as possible, shaking with fear the whole time. One storm, three responses.
I guess here’s one thing I was thinking about as I pondered how each of us responded that night to God’s supernatural display of power and strength—when God brings storms of suffering into our lives, we all respond differently. Some people pretend it’s not happening, others shut down in paralytic fear, and still others, mercifully, come to the point where they engage the struggle, grow bold in their courage, and even catch glimpses of God’s grandiose glory as he fills their lives with flashes of light.
Despite the fact that all I could think of as I watched my toddler yell at the wind was Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump, atop his shrimp boat yelling at God, I could still see his brave little soul fully engaged with what God was doing that night. He wasn’t cowering. He wasn’t ignoring. He was facing with courage, awe, wonder, and healthy fear.
Where do you go when the storm hits? Do you ignore it, finding ways to escape what’s going on? Do you become paralyzed with stress and anxiety and fear? Have you ever known true courage in the face of a storm God brought into your life? What would that look like if you did?