Am I the only one that sometimes takes comfort in storms? I'm not talking about comfort in spite of the storm; but rather comfort because of the storm.
I know that comfort's not typically what we associate with storms. In fact, I've lived all my life in "tornado alley", and although I've never witnessed/experienced such a powerful storm as that, I do know that storms can do much damage to property and harm to people, even to the point of claiming lives.
And yet...the storms still remind me of the power and greatness of God.
In the Old Testament, at a time when the man Job has been facing some personal storms in his own life, he begins to question God's goodness and justice, and he demands an audience with God. Amazingly, God shows up. It's also interesting to note that God speaks to Job out of the storm. His response to Job includes the following statements:
"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? Does the rain have a father?...Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?...Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together?"
Part of the answer to Job's questions about God's justice included the rain and the hail, thunderstorms and lightning, as evidence of God's power and authority over all the earth.
That's why when it was storming here late last night, and the noise was loud enough to awaken me, and the thunder sounded as if it were literally shaking the walls, I simply thanked the Lord for the storm, rolled back over, and went back to sleep.
That's why as I went to worship this morning, although I didn't enjoy driving through the torrential rain to get there, I had an extra sense of peace in the fact that the storm was blowing outside. As we sang songs, and as I listened to one of my most respected brothers lead our thoughts in communion, and then as I listened to his kid read scripture and lead us in prayer, I enjoyed getting to hear the gentle rumbling of the thunder, as evidence that God is still alive and active in our world.
He is with us.
"...For God is present in the company of the righteous."--Psalm 14:5