Monday, July 11, 2011

When Divinity Storms

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.


4Hisgloryforever said...

God is in the business of redemption. He redeems not just people, but circumstances. He takes what our enemy wants to use to destroy us and He turns it to blessing. The God of storms has long been a struggle of mine, I call it the struggle of righteousness by faith. I know I need to come to the place where my belief that "He is light in which is no darkness at all," is so settled that no outward circumstance can shake my belief. When things look dark, to hold on in faith to the truth, (no matter what it looks like or feels like) that our good God will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly. The faith that believes that if anyone be in Christ he is a new creature, even when it doesn't feel like it. That He who began the good work will be faithful to complete it and so by faith to be able to claim that promise (for those who walk uprightly, as my own, not based on my merit, but based on my abiding in Christ). The truth is when I allow God's goodness to marinate into the crevices of my soul, it changes me. I begin to believe on a deeper level, even when it doesn't feel like it.

Reynolds said...

Caitlin, I am sorry to hear of your battle with cancer. Before I go on I must tell you (or remind you)of who I am. I went to SVA with you all those many, or not so many years ago. Time flies sometimes doesn't it? Anyway, I was told by a friend of mine who also went to SVA that you were fighting cancer. I have been trying to figure out how I could contact you. I do not have a facebook like most our age so that didn't help. I guess I'm rambling... Its hard to know what to say when it has been years since you've talked to someone. I have more I'd like to say but it seems weird to write it on a blog post :) My email is:
I am praying for you!

Jeremy Reynolds SVA grad of 05.

Christen said...

Such beautiful memories of rain. :)

I read Psalm 18 today! Those verses really stood out to me, too.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think that this trial has brought out your most beautiful and creative writing because it is so deep and heartfelt. :) But then again, I've always loved what you write!

Still praying for you!

Caitlin said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)
God certainly is a redeemer of circumstances as well as people.

Kristin said...

Beautifully written as always, Caitlin. I love physical storms. And God is teaching me to welcome the spiritual/emotional storms as well-- in all their beauty and fierceness.

Karen said...

Thank you for your blog. It is a jewel in God's creation that brings Him great glory.

Joel said...

I love that passage more every time I read it. And I love what you have to say about it.

Lord, help me to savor your storms as much as I sparkle in your sunshine.

Brian said...

Caitlin, I love reading your blog. Thanks for this one about storms. I love to watch a thunderstorm roll in and feel the power in the wind and watch the rolling clouds. Sometimes I see God that way and know that He is about to work a more eternal and exceeding weight of glory!