Monday, April 16, 2012

a boy (and a girl) in a storm

one thing i love is thunderstorms. i love the smell, the sound, the view from the front porch.


don't get me wrong, i'm not saying i love huge storms that include lots of hail, massive winds, and damage.


but, a spring storm? one with a few flashes of lightning in the sky and big rumbles?


those are great, and that's the sort of storm that came through our neck of the woods on sunday.


while the kids were napping, nathan and i stepped out onto the front porch to watch the storm (isn't it great that i have a husband who likes all the strange things i do?). we had been standing out there for a little while when conan woke up and came sleepily out of his room. "i want pa!" he whined, so nathan scooped him up and stepped back outside.


conan watched the rain, but then there was a flash of lightning.
conan didn't mind the flash. it was still light outside, so the lightning really didn't seem that intense. it was pretty close, though, so the rumble that followed was one of those that you can feel to your bones.


do you know what causes thunder? basically, lightning is so hot that it causes a sudden increase in pressure and temperature in the air around it. that pressure and energy has to go somewhere, and the air starts expanding at a speed faster than the speed of sound. that creates a sonic shock wave, creating the boom you hear.


so, although thunder is what makes you jump, its really just the loud but realistically harmless effect of the lightning.


the lightning flash didn't bother conan, but the thunder rumble just about made him climb onto nathan's shoulders in an attempt to get away from the sound. his eyes grew to the size of half dollars.
he was terrified of the sound.


nathan reassured him, telling him he was in his pa's arms and nothing was going to happen to him. he held him close and rubbed his back, and conan started to calm down a bit with the knowledge that his pa would protect him.


then, there was another flash and another rumble.
the fear jumped straight to the forefront again, and it was as if conan forgot all about the reassurances he had just been given.
when he listened to the thunder, he forgot all about the promise of protection.
as his parents, nathan and i knew that we wouldn't let anything happen to conan. we were keeping him safe, but that didn't matter to him at the time. 

we could comfort him for a little while, but then he heard the thunder again.


seeing conan's reaction yesterday made me think about my own reactions to the storms in my life.

sometimes, the thing i'm scared of is just the thunder in the storm: the effect of something bad or dangerous, yes, but in the end something generally harmless.


i run to my Father, and He pulls me into His arms.
He sees the fear in my face, but He knows He will keep me safe.
He whispers reassurances: "I will keep you safe. I am your refuge, your protection. you don't have to worry about the rumblings because they can't hurt you when I'm here."


for a little while, i listen. like the psalmist i say, "i trust in You, o LORD; i say, 'You are my God.'" (psalm 31:14) and "because You are my help, i sing in the shadow of Your wings. my soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me." (psalm 63:7&8)
 
He calms me, but then there's another flash and some more rumblings. somehow, i manage to forget all the reassurances and promises of protection.
as my Father, God knows that He will protect me.
in the storms, though, i don't listen. instead, i focus on the rumble of the thunder (even during those times when i know the thunder is harmless). 

instead of hiding myself in the shadow of His wings where i can sing in the midst of the storm, i scramble to climb up and away from what's scaring me.


then you know the thing that's even crazier?
when the storm is over, i jump down to run off on my own instead of staying in my Father's arms.
He's always there, though, waiting for me to come running back when i get scared with His promise of protection.


i have to wonder, though--how much better off would i be if i stayed there, under His wing? that way, when the storms come, i can sing.


here's hoping we meet up in the shadow...

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Thoughts? I would love to hear them!
~Mandy