Once again, last night, I went to bed to the threat of thunder, lightning, and lots of rain. While reading I listened to the low rumbling of thunder in the distance. When I turned out the light, I saw the flashes of lightning and heard the storm coming closer.
Having the advantage of taking a nap during the afternoon, I thought I wasn’t too sleepy so I twisted the pillows and blankets around so that I could watch the light show through my window. As the light flashed, I counted “One Mississippi, Two Mississippi . . .” until I knew how far away the storm was. It seemed to be moving north. As the booms grew louder, the cat jumped down, headed for her spot on the third step to the basement where the noise isn’t so loud, but she can still be near me if necessary.
Somewhere in the watching, counting, and listening an old memory returned of a little girl who was very afraid of storms. I was about 4 years old and my brother was 7 when I developed the fear of thunder and lightning. At night when it thundered, I’d climb into bed with my big brother and scoot all the way down to the foot of the bed under the covers. He would hold my hand and squeeze it when he saw lightning – warning me of the booming to come. I remember this happening many times. However, I don’t remember when I stopped being afraid. I don’t ever remember my brother making fun of my fear. I do remember feeling protected under the covers and holding his hand.
When I was 8 lightning struck our house. We have the funniest memories of that time. Dad had a CB radio and a tower on the back of the house. We were all in the living room: I was laying on the couch playing with my dolls on the coffee table (because of rheumatic fever I was not supposed to sit up, walk, run, all the normal things 8 year olds do). Mom was talking to Dad who was in his chair, and my brother was sitting with his back to the couch reading a paperback western.
KABOOM! I leaped over the coffee table, Loran threw his book clear across the room, Dad yelled “Fire” and Mom ran. Dad quickly extinguished the drapes in the dining room and we all tried to calm down. The bolt of lightning had run along the wire to the radio in the bedroom, cracking plaster, scorching furniture, and making a black mark on the wall. The wind up clock in the living room stopped. The electricity went out, and when it came back on the timer on the washer never worked again. Neither did the clock on the stove. Loran’s book landed face down to the exact page where he was reading. The next day we found the cat in the basement cowering under the workbench. We were all a little skittish during thunderstorms for a while.
In my growing up years, my attitude toward thunderstorms also matured. Now, I enjoy a good thunder and lightning show. Although I’m still a little girl inside, I am now watching the majesty and power of Almighty God. He reveals Himself through the beauty above me and the rumble beneath my feet. I am no longer afraid because He holds my hand.
Job 38:34-36 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you? “Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, ‘Here we are’? “Who has put wisdom in the innermost being, Or given understanding to the mind?