Thunderstorms form quickly in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Deep rumbles roll across the peaks dotted with lighting strikes that illuminates the dark mountain silhouettes. You always know when a storm is on the rise.
Such a storm passed through on a Sunday evening a week ago, causing darkness to settle in the nooks and crannies of the old farmhouse. My husband and I waited in stillness to see if the electricity would be restored.
One flicker, then another, then total darkness again. Feeling my way to a lantern we kept ready for such occasions caused more that one exclamation of ouch! The lantern cast a small circle of pale yellow light softening sharp edges of furniture and adding the look of an old-world painting to the room.
The television was lifeless as well as computers and phones. What were we to do?
I pulled the curtains back from the large window and we watched as God spoke through his handiwork. The trees swayed in the storm’s wind as if dancing to heavenly music. The lighting strikes highlighted everyday beauty I often took for granted…
We read Bible verses in that soft lantern light; verses that proclaimed God’s great power over wind and water. We sang old hymns. . .sometimes straining to remember words written decades ago, words that thrilled my spirit…
And we prayed.
Prayed for each other, our family, our friends, and the world. We prayed until we felt saturated with the Lord’s love and grace…
And then we sat still.
We were still, each in our own thoughts. I closed my eyes as the thunder clapped and the wind howled, shaking the windowpanes of the old house. I was still before the Lord…
And we listened.
Listened for His voice and rejoiced when we heard from him…
And we gave thanks.
Thanks for a respite…to restore our souls, to regain the joy that the business of life and modern devises can steal.
My husband and I decided to reclaim this Sabbath rest each week. I am thankful for the storm’s darkness that drew us back into His light.
The next time you experience a loss of electricity from a thunderstorm … rejoice in His rest. Redeem the time that earthy devices so stealthy steal.
It doesn’t take a storm to start the redemption process of valuable family time. Perhaps start on a weekend night…have a basket at hand where each family member places his turned-off cell phone, to be reclaimed after a determined amount of time and family activity.
Remember, each day is a gift…use it wisely!