Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Drawing close to a Dangerous God

There is the pregnant silence before a storm rolls in.  The trees wait expectantly and the brown sparrow chirps a warning...or maybe it is a herald.

August heat folds back onto itself as the cool front pushes in.  Trees sway and I feel small.  Very, very small.
The thunder booms in the distance.

I can smell the rain.

In the presence of power we are reminded of our weakness.  We are dependent for our very breath.

At any moment lightning could strike.  I could be taken out of this life in a split second.  But still I sit here in this rocking chair, watching the dark clouds take over the sky.  I shiver as the temperature drops drastically, yet I stay.

I want to watch the first drops drip from the leaves.  I want to see the branches burdenened with the weight of water.  I want to watch the rain fall horizontally, bullied by the winds.  I am safe under the cover of my porch.  Sort of.

Perceived safety is enough to keep me out here.

My daughter hums as she finishes her math lesson.  She despises math, but somehow, out here, waiting for the rain, she hates it just a little less.  She chatters between problems, her pencil pausing.  I cherish this moment of peace.

The wind blows harder now, the treetops swaying to and fro in a beautiful, majestic dance.

The smell of rain grows stronger.  It is so close.

I can feel the tension in the air, like the sky is going to burst open at any second.  My daughter notices that it has become so dark that the street lights have come on.

rain, danger, lightning, thunder, God, safe, dangerous, storm

The wind picks up and the thunder booms loudly. In this mundane moment, sitting on my front porch, I am keenly aware of God's pleasure.  He sings over us with the winds and the thunder and His love causes my spirit to swell.  He is safe and He is good and I can stay out here.  He is fierce and He is strong and He is majestic in power, but He is safe.  It is not my perception, it is reality.  He is wild and joy.  He is life and fullness and oh, how I love Him right now.

My daughter jumps up, victorious.  "Done!"  She dashes indoors to put her math problems into the computer and I jump as a crack of thunder rolls from west to east.  Lightning flashes and in the same instant a deafening peal of thunder nearly knocks me out of the chair.

That was very, very close.

Here it comes.  Dead branches drop and loose leaves flutter to the ground.

God is dangerous.  How can I feel this warm in the presence of a God who could take me out in one instant?

Here comes the rain now.  It is a torrent.  It is loud and the street is instantly running with rivers of murky water that will soon run clear.  I feel the mist blowing in on the porch and marvel at the relief felt in the air. At last the dam has broken and the cleansing has come.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom. 5: 1-2)

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