The storm mist swirls into the porch and sparks little snowflake sensations on my face and bare arms. Clattering rain on the tin roof overhead nearly clouds out the background tympani of thunder. I inhale deeply. The moistened air heavy with the scent of life. Its as if the whole world has been given a breath mint and when the downpour subsides its eyes are wide open.
I remember rain.
Dark rain coursing down sad windows.
Sun sparkled rain tickling the surface of lake waters above.
Cold European drizzles on narrow cobblestone streets.
Dashing into steamy Brazilian torrents to snatch the laundry from the lines.
Sharing an umbrella while selling books of hope to strangers.
Puddle jumping and all out mud fights.
Rain drenched skin and the joy of living.
Both funerals and weddings christened with graceful rain.
And the hope in Christmas lights is never so poignantly clear as on a bitter and blustery winter day.
It has been said by art instructors that "The shadow is as important as the light." The truth of this in two dimensions is ever more evident in our multidimensional existence. How quick I am to forget. Our tangible surroundings are always holding hands with spiritual truths. The truth of recognizing the shadows of God.
The warrior David describes the dark majesty of God rescuing him in Psalm 18. This psalm is a hymn of gratefulness penned on the day that the Lord delivered him from all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. Perhaps this is a poetic rendition of a specific event where God used a literal storm to protect him from his enemies.
"He bowed down the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet.
And He rode upon a cherub and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. . . ." (vs. 9-11)
"He sent from above, He took me. He drew me out of many waters.
He also brought me out into a broad place, He delivered me because He delighted in me." (vs. 16, 19)
This is no pastel portrait of divinity on a sunny picnic. It is a rich word palate with all the colors of a storm. Ripped strength and raw energy pulse forward to culminate in a miraculous rescue. A reminder that God is not just present in serene pastures but also in the shadows of death. That God himself is a warrior fighting for the defense and justice of those who trust Him. The stalwart truth about God in storms.
My God is not a placid God. His storms have purpose. His shadows are strength.
And even if I am not the one to witness the rescue,
His gift of rain cycles on.