“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!'” (Mark 1.3 NLT).
“What’s wrong, Sweetie? Did the thunder wake you,” I asked my daughter, barely able to open my eyelids. I lifted my hand toward her face and stroked her cheek and her long chestnut hair.
“Yes, Mommy,” she whimpered. “The thunder is scary.”
I demanded my eyes awake and slipped out of my warm bed. I lifted my daughter and wrapped her legs around my waist, and she stretched her arms around my neck. I walked through the dark house to her bedroom. I could hear the thunder in the distance and see the flashes of lightening in the kitchen window.
When I got to her bed, I gently folded her back under the covers. I knelt on the carpet, placed my elbows on the edge of the bed and started petting her face.
“Now, it’s time to go to bed. The thunder really isn’t scary. It can’t hurt you.”
“But it’s loud, and I can’t sleep,” my daughter whispered. I could see her eyes wide in the glow of the nightlight she turns on at bedtime every night.
“You don’t have to be scared of thunder,” I began. I felt so tired and desperately wanted to go back to bed, but I knew that I needed to calm her fears.
I thought quickly. “Did you know that Thunder is best friends with Rain?” I began.
She shook her head. “No, I didn’t know that.”
“Yes, “ I nodded. “Thunder loves Rain, so he always announces when Rain is coming.”
“Really?” she asked.
“They have been friends for a very long time. Thunder loves to let everyone know when Rain is on his way. Thunder can’t water the grass or fill up the lakes, but he can tell everyone when his friend will come. He has a booming voice that echoes across the sky, so everyone can be ready for when Rain arrives,” I said.
My daughter stared at me, and I could see images forming in her young mind.
I continued. “Some people don’t like Thunder. They think he’s loud, and he wakes them up while they are sleeping in their warm beds. They feel safe in their homes, and they don’t care if Rain is coming. Thunder irritates them or even frightens them. But other people love Thunder. These people need the rain. They are farmers and ranchers who must have Rain to feed their crops and their animals.”
My daughter listened intently.
I stopped. “But you know what?” I asked.
“What,” she whispered.
“We all need Rain. Nothing on this earth would survive without Rain’s help. We should all be thankful to hear the roar of Thunder making the way for Rain. Thunder is not a nuisance. He’s a blessing,” I finished.
My daughter thought for a moment and repeated my final statement. “He is a blessing.”
“He is,” I agreed. “Do you like that story about Thunder and Rain?” I asked.
She nodded her head and smiled. Just then the thunder bellowed in the distance.
“It looks like Rain is on his way,” I said.
“He’s on his way to feed the plants and animals,” she said, as she closed her eyes. “Thunder is just letting me know.”
I watched my daughter fall asleep before I made my way back to my room.
I thought about Thunder and Rain, and the spiritual implications they present. I know John the Baptist was like Thunder, making the way for the Lord. Many people didn’t like John the Baptist. He irritated and scared people. But those desperate for the Rain loved his voice. They flocked into the dry wilderness looking for Living Water.
I thought about my own life. My writing is like Thunder too. I proclaim Jesus on every page and on every post. My words may irritate or even scare people, but I know someday they will find themselves desperate for Jesus. The security of their homes and beds will be compromised, and they will see their needs for a Savior. They will come to the sound of my thunder, seeking the life-giving Rain in my writing.
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life” (John 4.14 NLT).