Already Included #25 – Thunder

By Sarah Nyhan

I used to be terrified. Of everything. Including thunder.

You grow up hearing stories about The Flood and Jonah. And as a kid there is a tendency to make a literal connection to weather and God’s “wrath”. I.e. if there is bad weather then God must be mad at me. So if there were huge thunderstorms that were shaking the windows on the house, then sometimes I would literally jump out of bed and lay prostrate face on the floor and start praying for mercy.

Perfect love casts out fear. This morning we had a storm that was so loud that it woke me up out of a dead sleep. And I just laid there and enjoyed it! I thought, “God, you like to pour out your blessings just like this rain is being poured out so much that it feels like the house might be swept away.”

And in the Spirit of Paul Young, “Yes, Lord; please wash away this shack on the inside that others have helped me build.” He is. I am loved. I am beloved.

And I give up. I let go of holding onto even this life, onto all my dreams: of a career, a house, a loving marriage, a big warm close family of friends and otherwise, better health, etc. I let it all go. Even the dreams that are so dear that I dare not speak them here.

Because I am safe. It’s God’s great love to deliver me. Maybe mostly from my messed up thinking before anything else. So I won’t go hitting the floor every time He wants to soothe my broken heart with a beautiful thunderstorm that reminds me His love is bigger than anything this life can bring.

Just like the ocean. I prayed those lyrics also: [lead] me out upon the waters. My soul will rest in Your embrace. Letting go of all anxiety. I will continue to do my best, but without the pressure of the gun of the unnecessary self-imposed stress of proving myself to God or anyone else.

I have not arrived; I will continue to grow and get better. Love does that because love is safe. Love lets you land. I have my forever home and family in Your heart, Lord. And You need me to know this first and above all. Not in my mind, but throughout every bit of my being.

Bless me with Your best because I am Your child and it is Your good pleasure. You love the hell out of me.

Atmospheric Ducting

“…the sudden release of bottled-up convective energy – like the bursting of a balloon – can result in severe thunderstorms…”

Lightning. Thunder. Huge thunder. Not even that close. But it shook the entire building. I am amazed. Not many man-made things have that much power. To shake an entire three-story building from maybe around a mile away.

Lightning. Pouring rain. It hasn’t rained like this in a long time. Sheets and sheets. I stayed in the car for maybe an hour hoping it would let up. No. Still going hours later. Fascinating.

Seemed like it came out of nowhere. A long hot summer as usual. And then this deluge of needed rain. I am amazed that it’s been going for hours. Not your typical Texas storm.

Of course I draw spiritual parallels. Hoping this storm is a metaphor for how I’ve been in a long dry spell spiritually. Not inside. But outside. It’s been unrelenting pressure. I pray for relief. For a change of seasons. For refreshment.

These storms are so powerful. They remind me how small I am on this big earth. How the world doesn’t revolve around me. Of course. But sometimes we get so focused on the detail of something in front of us and we forget the big picture.

These storms also remind me of how big God must be. Just a flash of lightning. A crack. And then the thunderclap afterwards. The big harvest moon, the relentless sun. The enormous ocean.

So small and yet so loved. Blows my mind.