“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 136:1
The thunderstorm growled some distance away. Lightning stretched through the dark sky, electric fingers reaching over many miles lighting up the land.
Moments of flashing light illuminated the road ahead of me. Beautiful licks of streaking light danced across the sky as I balanced watching the performance and the road. It was no use, I had to pull the car over to give full attention to God’s stunning display of power.
I searched for my phone in hopes that I might be able to catch some of God’s glory through the lens of the camera. I didn’t have much time to wait, but the constant dance of electricity before my eyes gave me reason to think I might just get lucky.
A gust of soft, warm, sweet smelling summer air filled the car as I rolled down the window, a light mist falling on my face and neck. The sky was quiet as I held the camera still. There was not a sound but the gentle breeze as it swept past through the long, grassy fields surrounding me.
“Come on…” I whispered, my finger poised on the shutter button. “Come on…”
The mist coming in through the window was cool but gentle and I shivered slightly. “Please,” I said “give me something…”
I sat perfectly still pointing the lens through the lightly draping mist in the direction of the rumbles.
The mist continued to float lightly into the car, dampening my face and hands and I figured the lens on the camera had gotten wet enough that even if I was able to catch a glimpse, it would be distorted. So I took my finger off the shutter button and set down my phone to wipe it off.
The sky lit up with a vast array of light.
“Of course.” I said with a laugh. I scooped up my phone to capture the radiance and in an instant darkness encompassed the car.
“Come on!!” I wailed. “Give me one, please, just let me see one!” I was begging to the Creator of this universe for one glimpse, one more peek at His glory.
The wind picked up a bit and I could almost feel God’s amusing laughter as I sat there perfectly still willing one more lightning strike, just one more. My finger cramped as it sat, fixed in position, not moving for fear of missing another opportunity.
“Come on…” I urged, “I have to go. Just give me one…”
The blackness squeezed in on me, the light from the dashboard grew brighter, a beacon signaling me as a reminder that I had somewhere to be.
“Please, just one…” I begged.
“Fine.” I said, defeated and removed my hand from its spot and placed my phone in my lap.
I sat there dumbstruck as the most beautiful stretch of powerful light broke through the darkness. A kinetic surge of bright white ribbons swirled and danced in front of me as I shook my head and placed the car in gear.
“Really?!!” I laughed incredulously.
“Ok, I get it…”
“Don’t tell You what to do.”
“…who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” Romans 9:20
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands‘?” Isaiah 45:9
“And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 16:14
I traveled along the Blue Ridge Parkway this past week. It was the most beautiful and calming stretch of road I have ever traveled.
The expanse of highway travels along the Appalachian Mountain range, through Virginia and North Carolina, at a comfortable leisurely 45 mph pace and offers no distraction of cellular service making it impossible to ignore its splendor.
It is filled with amazing peaks, stunning vistas and gorgeous views.
It entices us to jump; to soar in God’s promises and His word is heard in its echo:
“they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
And while we stand upon the mountain, our adversary uses those close-up magnificent views to turn our focus upon the rugged, daunting mountain set before us. He reminds us we are incapable and unable to walk the path that lies ahead:
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment…” Isaiah 64:6
One minute we are on an incredibly spiritual high; we know what God has planned for us, our steps are sure and strong, the path ahead is exhilarating and clear enabling us to sit a while in His presence.
“but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Proverbs 1:33
Then at the next turn the shadows appear; our footing is slow and apprehensive, the darkness drifts in and the path ahead is questionable.
Each corner appears sharp, unsure and cold and we begin to doubt. We question if we are on the right road after all; incapable of seeing through the forest, unable to decipher the way.
But we can trust in God’s promises. Light will appear once more and the shadows will run.
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2
Are you in the midst of a shadow?
Are you unable to see the way out?
God promises to guide and to lead. Trust in His timing, take rest in His plan and you will again feel sure-footed and secure.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…” Philippians 1:6