“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain…but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”

1Kings 19: 11-13 NLT

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It is the season of storms here in the south. Spring storms will quickly fade and through the heating of the day the summer storms will take there place.

We had two sets of sweet little feet hanging out at Nanna’s house just the other day when such a storm blew in. Thunder cracked loud. Lightening flashed against the sky. Seemed as if it touched the ground. Torrents of rain slamming against the windows. Hail pelting. The wind was big and loud. Chairs blew across the deck.

Those little faces and hands were glued to the door watching as the storm raged. I just cleaned those prints off today. Smiled a little to myself. Thought of the questions they asked. “Will it blow us away Nanna?” “How long will it last?” “Are we going to be okay?”

Wasn’t so long ago I was afraid myself. A grown up with miles of life under my feet was still prone to jump when thunder and lightening passed through. ‘Till I came upon some of my favorite words in the book of Job, uttered by the very breath of God himself.

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail…Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm…Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew?” Job 38: 22,25,&28 NIV

My feet no longer leave the ground when lightening strikes and thunder booms. I see them as a thing of wild beauty. God’s hand in control as storms rage all around.

***

The storm passed. The little ones went back to their games, and books, and all things five & six. Their prints on the glass a reminder of all that had passed.

The house quieted. I climbed up into my bed. Pen and journal, my Bible in hand. The dog following close behind. I opened the windows as I often do. The breeze across our ridge was cool. Raised the blinds a bit so I could watch the evening glow.

The smell of warm rain and damp ground wrapping around me. I sat and listened to the quiet after the storm. The birds were singing again. The quail whistling his “bob white”. The coo of the doves. It all comforts my weary soul at the end of the day. The place where I count up all that I did wrong, flitted over the few things done right.

Where you lean into God and rest in His embrace. Grace washes down and covers it all.

I thought of the “storms of life”. The current storm I’m standing knee deep in. Wonder why. Why time and time again I forget, that this storm will quiet. Like all the others before. The birds will sing again. There will be rest for just a bit before another wave of life hits. I’ll bask in the evening glow.

I much prefer the Gentle Whisper over the torrents of rain. If we are honest, we all do. Storms are hard. Faith is tested. Trust is gripped with the edge of our fingernails. Hanging on for dear life in the wind.

In her book Savor, Shauna Niequest says it best…”a storm can make you feel more deep emotion than a sunny day ever did.”

I don’t like the storms, yet I need them. My crying out to God is loud and desperate. Raw and sweaty.

Without them I would become complacent, lolling around like a fat, tabby cat in the sun. Safe and warm in my comfort zone.

The stormy seasons, the deep emotion. They draw me closer to God. I cling to Him.

“Remembering well is important in relationships. It’s important in my relationship with God, too.” Laura J. Boggess from Playdates with God

I need to remember. To see them as a thing of beauty where refining takes place.

Like the sweet face and handprints on the glass door remind me of the storm and the quiet that followed, I need to remember my own storms will pass, the quiet, the rest, will settle in, and in a gentle whisper, God will remind me again. I was with you. We made it through. I am with you now. I will be there again.

Since God has said “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you.” Hebrews 13:5 MSG

Remember. I need to remember.

That’s the beauty of  an ongoing relationship with God. You build history. Storms and deliverance past to remember and carry you through. Though I will stumble, and argue, cry out “Why”, stomp around a bit. There is a knowing, painful though it may be, that this storm will pass.

The quiet will come.

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn