The Violence of the Storm
March 19, 2013 in Heart-songs
Perhaps it is the story I’ve re-read recently of Isaiah coming face to face with the raw power and magnitude of a holy God, or maybe the way the sky fell absolutely dark yesterday at 3:30 in the afternoon- as if someone just walked in and turned out the lights, or perhaps even the bowling ball-sized hole in my windshield caused by a softball sized rock of ice, that has left me shakily aware of my own feeble existence.
And not just that, but specifically, my feeble existence in contrast with the infinite strength, omnipotence,and authority of this world’s creator.
I’m reminded of how I felt in 2011 when I witnessed an F4 tornado pass by my townhome window… that feeling, as I’m sure you can imagine, was helplessness. There I sat on my cold bathroom floor with a newborn and two small, frightened children, with 70+ mile an hour winds ripping the back porch right off the back of our home. Neighboring houses were being demolished by the sheer force of the wind. The volume of the storm was deafening. The magnitude of it’s power- shocking, and I was powerless to do anything but cry out Oh Lord, Save us!
The hail storm wasn’t frightening in the same way that the tornado was. I was fairly certain that we were safe inside our sturdy little house. But looking out at the black-green sky, I was painfully aware that the sky, wind, rain, and ice were in full submission to a sovereign, and able God.
And that…was terrifying. As it should be, I think.
I think often, we ignore the holiness, and the power of God, because it is frightening.
We talk about His grace as if it exists in place of His justice.
We talk about His love as if it dissolves His wrath.
And we do this because it is incapacitating to imagine coming face to face with a holy, powerful, wrathful God.
A God who with a word, spoke, and there was life.
A God who commands the waters to be still and the winds to die down- and they obey.
The very truth of the Gospel is, we do serve a powerful, holy God. And He is a God of justice. And He is a God of wrath…as much as we fear to admit it.
And that small taste of power that we experience when we witness a terrifying natural disaster- (one by the way, that is in submission to His very will) is tiny…no, it is nothing compared to the full, vast expanse of His limitlessness.
And we should tremble at that thought.
We don’t even have a reference for the feelings that we should experience when we think upon His holiness and power.
But we know this, that we were spared His wrath ONLY because He poured it out on His Son.
And we can rest without fear of ever encountering the full display of His justice, because it was satisfied in Christ.
I am comforted by that thought, my friends, because as awful and unnerving as the violence of the storm can be, I know that it is only a pale shadow of the judgement which my wicked soul deserves at the hand of His justice.
And as I think about my Lord, my Savior, my kinsman-Redeemer, suffering under more dreadful and more awful afflictions as no softball sized hailstorms nor F4 tornados could ever compare, I am left undone.
I am left with the uncomfortable knowledge of my sin, and the painful weight of my guilty sentence, which He paid in full.
I am left holding out my empty, shaking hands as a feeble offering of praise.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.