Yesterday in the late afternoon I watched from my seat on our rider mower the sky getting continuously darker. The clouds were like a beautiful sea of waves, each one deeper gray than the one before. I wanted to stay out in it but I thought it might be time to end the lawn work. As I surrendered to an incomplete task done, a large clap of thunder made me know it was the right decision. Just as I eased the mower into its berth in the shed, torrents of rain began with a mighty wind for accompaniment. Next a loud breaking sound split the skies and we saw one of our huge, beautiful black walnut trees cracked in two and falling across the yard. Nothing else was harmed but we were amazed at the power of that wind. There was no lightning – just the wind…but what a wind it was.
This morning as I read the text from Deuteronomy (4: 32-40) and then the powerful words of Psalm 77—both speaking of the power of God for the people—I was struck most strongly by verses 17 to 20 of the psalm.
Then with a peal of thunder the clouds of heaven broke.
Your arrows flashed as lightning across the darkened skies.
And from that mighty whirlwind, your flames lit up the world.
You walked ahead through water, your path lay through the sea,
And though we never saw you take a step, you were our company.
You led Moses like a shepherd, you took Aaron by the hand,
And they became for us, the flock of God, your mighty rod and staff.
(Ancient Songs Sung Anew, p.192)
As it was in the beginning, so it remains—a powerful message for us all.