"The Beauty of the Storm"
For some reason, my five-year old daughter, Grace loves rain. Every time we get ready to travel somewhere, before she gets in the car, she has to step outside the garage and check to see if it's raining.
If it is, she steps into the rain and smiles.
In the past, I would scold her and say, "C'mon Grace, let's get in the car. You don't want to get wet."
But lately I've let her linger. Mostly because I want her to be keep her love for the rain because I think it connects her to God.
Last week I met someone else who loved the rain. I've been reading through the psalms in my morning devotions and I came upon Psalm 29, written by David.
In this psalm, David speaks of his love for the storm. David was an outdoorsman. He was a shepherd. He was used to the cycles of nature.
I'll bet he could share powerful stories about the moments he was on the hillside with the sheep and a powerful storm rained down upon them.
As a boy I spent most summers up in Northern Minnesota, working at a resort and conference center. It was in a breathtaking part of the country, back on quiet Steamboat Bay on Leech Lake.
I experienced some violent storms. I've seen tall, thick oaks snapped like toothpicks. I've seen waves crest high on the troubled lake. I remember hearing terrific claps of thunder. And there was the ever-present fear of the funnel cloud.
I never liked storms. I remember hoofing, Olympic style, back to the dining hall, which was our refuge.
But lately, I'm learning to enjoy the storm. Not just the ones outside, but the ones inside my own heart.
I'm not sure why, but I think this is God's work in renewing a child-like faith inside. A faith that just trusts, uncluttered with complicated rationalizations and logic. A faith that tries, often unsuccessfully, to see every storm as an opportunity to experience God in a powerful way.
David's account in Psalm 29 reads like a Hebrew poem. It is filled with a beautiful, back-and-forth artistry. David didn't see the world the way we typically see it, in black and white. No, He embraced the Creator as an artist. The earth is God's canvass and the storm is his masterpiece. In fact, David says that after a storm, the angels cry "Glory, Glory."
You see, David was not distracted by the danger of the storm. Instead, he's awed by God's power. The storm, for David, is a time of worship.
How can we possibly see the beauty of God in our storms? Can God create a masterpiece of out of a cancer diagnosis, a lost child, a broken relationship, a blindsided betrayal?
The only way we see the beauty of the storm is to ascend to the same vantage point as David. You see, he was looking at the storm from his palace upon Mt. Zion. From there, he could view the entire expanse of the country. He was safe there.
God calls us to ascend to higher ground. To live where He lives. When we do, we suddenly have a much better viewpoint. We see the entire big picture, the beautiful portrait God is creating of our lives.
We see the majesty of the storm. And when we do, the angels again cry, "Glory, Glory."
Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at danieldarling.com.