My parents’ dog is scared of thunder. Scared is an understatement. The dog is paralyzed with fear when it thunders. He has to be medicated. That’s right, when the storms roll through, Dakota gets a diazepam.
When I was living overseas, one of the things I missed was the big storms. Growing up in Texas and Oklahoma, you learn to have a healthy respect and awe for the weather. When the thunder rolls, the tornadoes chase and the lightening strikes, the air becomes almost electric. Playing in the rain, watching the lights, letting the thunder lull me to sleep, and watching the sky turn green in preparation for twisters are some of my favorite things.
One night in Paris we had a thunder storm. That almost never happens, and that storm was the first and last I saw in my 2+ years there. I was a nanny at the time, and AK, the little girl I cared for, was awakened by the storm. She came running in and crawled up in my lap. We talked about how thunder sounds scary, but it can’t hurt us. I told her that some people say thunder is God bowling, or the angels throwing a party, but really it’s just noise. We talked about how God makes big noises like thunder and little noises like the wind. By the end of the night we we giggling at the slow rumbles.
As I write this there’s a storm rolling through. Listening to the rhythm has me more relaxed than I’ve been in weeks, but my parents’ 90 lb. labrador is trying to sit in my lap despite his dose of diazepam. Isn’t it strange that what terrifies some can thrill others? That combination of fear and wonder is mystifying.
I think that, more than anything else in my life, has helped me understand what it means to be in awe. In the early 90s the word “awesome” became colloquial and in the process, I think the word “awe” lost some of its luster. In our modern hullabaloo, we don’t have awe for a lot of things. In scripture, the word is used sparingly, but always in reference to God and his works. I think it’s appropriate that God alone is worthy of awe, but its even more appropriate that He reveals to us what it is to be in awe through the works of His hands.
I wonder if God’s revealing himself through our fears more often than we realize. What is it that we fear? Is it possible God could be using that for His own glory?