I had been watching Anaya, Seth, and Skyler for the afternoon, and it had been a lot of fun. We played some games, read some stories, and then Seth and Anaya wanted to go outside. So outside we went. As I sat on the porch with Skyler and Seth, I watched the sky, and they did as well. There were dark storm clouds above threatening to let loose a furious downpour.
"I don't yike storms," Skyler told me nervously.
Seth responded before I could, and with a melancholy look on his face said, "I love storms."
I smiled, and told Skyler, "I love storms, too. Do you want to know why?"
"Yesh," he replied.
So I told Seth and Skyler the story of the Israelites camped at the base of Mt. Sinai when God came down to speak to Moses. I read to them Exodus 19:16 where it says that there was thunder and lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain because God's Presence was there. And I told them that I loved storms in part because they remind me of God's power; storms make me feel like God is near.
Skyler wasn't convinced. But we stayed outside a while longer and played some games in the yard.
Later that evening shortly after Dr. and Mrs. Parker got home, the sky let loose. Rain was pounding the ground, wind whipping tree branches, and the tornado sirens started sounding over at the university. After some discussion, Dr. and Mrs. Parker decided that they would pack a few things and head over to Dr. Parker's office since they didn't have a basement in their house. I decided to head back home, but just before I got out the door, Skyler came over to me.
"I yike storms because we get to go to daddy's office." His eyes sparkled with excitement as he smiled up at me. His fear of the storm was completely forgotten.
At that moment, I wished that I were more like Skyler. Somehow there's a slight disconnect in my mind between physical storms and life storms. I love real storms for a lot of reasons. I especially love that they make me feel so small and make me feel that God's Presence is near. But for some reason, I haven't particularly carried that view and those feelings over to life storms. Somehow when I'm in the midst of a life storm, it seems so much easier to forget that God is near, so much easier to feel lost and alone.
Skyler's reason for liking storms should be mine as well. He was thrilled for an excuse to spend time with his father. He was grateful for an opportunity to be with his dad and to be protected by him. As long as Skyler could be with his father during the storm, there was no room for fear, only space for excitement and joy.
What if I reacted to life storms in the same manner? How amazing it would be if whenever a trial or difficulty presented itself in my life, I reacted by being excited for an opportunity to draw closer to God. How it might warm God's heart if I were anxious to see how He was going to come through for me, how He was going to protect and carry me through the storm, instead of being anxious about the potential damage that might result from the storm.
"He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore." ~Psalm 121:3-8, ESV
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." ~Isaiah 26:3, 4, ESV