A loud crash and blood-curdling scream jolted me from a deep slumber. I leapt from bed, my feet instinctively carrying me up the stairs toward my daughter's room. My mind raced to process what was happening.
Thunder + Lightning + Screaming = Thunderstorm.
Having grown up in Kansas, Midwestern thunderstorms are nothing new to me. However, after eight years of parenthood, I am still not accustomed to being awakened by middle-of-the-night screams.
Why must the worst storms always be at night?!
Fortunately, my feet know their way to my daughter's room, even when I'm still half asleep. When I finally reached her, I snuggled her close and said in my most soothing Mommy voice, "It's OK, Mommy's here." I settled in as she laid down and drifted off to a peaceful slumber within minutes. It was going to be a long storm, so I might as well stay.
I wish I could say this stay-for-the-long-haul parenting method has always been my modus operandi. Sadly, it has not. There have been many long nights of Ping-Pong Mommy, running back and forth from my room to hers, worrying that if I stayed too long I would sabotage her self-soothing capabilities. (Oh, the things we mamas worry about!)
But this. This was one of those "perfect parenting" moments when I wasn't concerned with how much sleep I was missing or how I might be crippling her independence. This time I was here for the duration, as long as she needed me.
And that's exactly what she needed...me. She just wanted to know I was there. The storm, with it's crashing thunder and flashing lightning, raged on outside. But my girl slept peacefully in my arms.
And in that very moment, snuggled under a teal canopy, God whispered to my heart, This is what I do for you.
The storms look different in our lives. They come in the form of unemployment, disappointment in relationships, medical issues, conflict with family members, financial struggle, or any number of other situations. The thunder cracks, the lightning flashes, and we cry out for help. What does God do? He runs right to us.
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry" (Psalm 34:15).
He doesn't grow weary of our cries. He isn't annoyed by our neediness. He doesn't worry about the "other" things vying for His attention at that moment.
You are His child. When you cry, He comes running.
Sometimes He raises a hand and speaks with authority to the storm, "Be still." The thunder quiets, and the lightning subsides.
"He...rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm" (Mark 4:39)
We find a better job. The medical scans come back clear. Conflict is resolved; relationships are restored. We take a deep breath, breathe a sigh of relief, and go on with life.
Sometimes the storms rage on. We lose the job. The tumor does not shrivel. Bills continue to come. Conflicts worsen and relationships are severed.
It's in those times that God holds us tight and wraps His arms around us. He leans in close and whispers, "Be still. It's OK...Daddy's here."
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6, 7).
Our heartbeats calm. Our breathing settles. His presence brings us peace.
Are you facing a storm today? If so, cry out to your Father. He will come running for you. And when He does, you can snuggle into His arms...and rest.
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Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.