I love nights like this. Thunder gently rolls, lightning flashes occasionally lighting up the back yard. The sound of the rain pelting the sidewalk is soothing. It's the perfect evening to light a delicious smelling candle, turn on some soft, easy-listening music and read a good book. Or...light the candle, turn on the music and dance with someone you love. Or...cuddle on the couch and watch a romantic movie(but still, light the candle). There are so many wonderful ways to spend a rainy evening at home. I think that's why it's one of my favorite kinds of nights.
As long as the thunder "gently rolls" and doesn't prevent the slumber of my children, it's one of my favorites. That can ruin any rainy night. Ava does not like thunder storms yet. Lukas mostly pretends that he is afraid of the thunder because he thinks it will allow him the excuse to crawl into our bed. So far, they are fast asleep in their own beds on this rainy night even though the thunder did decide to speak a little louder than I appreciated. The house actually vibrated. I always find that to be extremely cool. I have a healthy fascination with thunder storms and weather.
Of course, my perspective changes when the storm is severe. Severe storms, while interesting, completely throw me for a loop. You would think I would be used to such things having grown-up in the mid-west, but maybe that's exactly why I do fear them. When I was 8, we were camping in Michigan when someone came and told us to head for better shelter. It was the middle of the night. I remember my parents having to hold onto us, especially my little sister who was still very little at the time, just to get us to the car and out of the rain. When I was 13, we were tent camping in Indiana. We rode a storm out by sitting in my dad's pick-up. When it was past, our tent was gone and our supplies scattered. During both incidents, a tornado swept through.
Then there's the story of my little dog, Bandit, who was chained to the camper during a storm (also when I was 8). We heard him yelp and found him in a puddle, electrocuted.It wasn't even a bad storm. In fact, it was a lot like the storms washing through central Ohio tonight.
Oh, and I don't want to forget the storm that came through when I was in high school. I was helping mom in the kitchen. She had something cooking away in the pressure cooker when lightning struck a little too close to home (literally) and sparks shot through our electric stove, blew a hold in the pressure cooker (that's some pretty thick steel to get through) and took out the stove and most of the small appliances in the entire house. No phone. No air conditioner. No VCR. My mom still tells this story. She says she had no idea I could move as fast as I moved across the kitchen and out the front door away from that stove.
Storms should not be my friend, should they? They are my friends when they are gentle. Storms are here for a reason. The morning after a stormy night is green and peaceful with little drops of water on each blade of grass, each little vegetable plant peaking through the ground in the garden, each leaf of every tree. It's beautiful, pristine and unblemished after a stormy night.
After our tent blew away with the tornado in Indiana, the campground owner offered us a cabin at no extra charge for the remainder of our stay there. That was a pretty good reward after having lost so much of our stuff. I didn't complain about getting to sleep on an actual bed and having an air conditioner in the window.
If only thunderstorms were the only kind of storms we had to endure in this life...
Isn't it sometimes hard to pray through the storms of life? I don't think I'm the only one who has a hard time praying after I've been in the midst of a storm for such a long time. There comes a point when I feel like my prayers aren't being heard, or maybe I'm not praying for the right thing, and there comes a time when I realize the only thing I can pray for is the will of God to be done. There is no point in praying for a storm to end sooner than planned because that will simply mean that we'll have to endure another storm in order to learn the lesson we missed from the first one. That's where we are right now, learning some of the lessons we thought we learned the first time around, and I'm tired. I'm worn out. I want it to be over. I want it to stop right now!
I want to see the glorious morning after the storm when the rain leaves shiny droplets on the lilies and the kids can go puddle jumping on the sidewalk, when the sun sparkles on the strawberries and the birds sing beautiful melodies. I want everything to be right-side-up, straight and narrow. You would think that I would be asking for the storm to end. Instead....
I ask that I simply survive the storm because I don't want the storm to end until all the appropriate lessons have been learned.
Otherwise...we'll go through this all over again, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.