from today’s Psalm 18:
The Lord parted the heavens and came down with a storm cloud under his feet.
He mounted on cherubim and flew; he swooped on the wings of the wind.
He wrapped darkness about him; he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.
From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds,
burst hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered out of heaven; the Most High uttered his voice.
He loosed his arrows and scattered them; he hurled thunderbolts and routed them.
It is SO unlike last summer when all was dry and burning in the Ute Park Fire which destroyed 40 thousand acres on Philmont territory. A major rain storm on Sunday made many of the roads here mud slides. And now, Thursday another thunder storm has just passed. “The voice of God thunders” is an apt description of the feeling I have. “Where were you when I created the heavens and the earth?” God asks Job.
In 2002, my first experience here at Philmont, another major fire swept through the north country. I drove through the area the day the state road was opened, and it was awesomely haunting to see the destruction of the fire with the black toothpick skeletons of tree on one side of the road and green on the other side. Yesterday afternoon I drove up that same road for a chapel service. Many of those same skeletons jut forth from an every enlargening growth of lush green making a stark contrast.
We look at forest fires as destruction. We tremble with the blasts of thunder. But the fire releases new growth, as the rains nourish the new growth for future generations of both flora and fauna.
And yet it is important for the faithful to hear the tremendum majestatis (the tremendous majesty) of the thunder, lightning and rain storms which proclaim God’s power over Creation.
Children (and dogs) may cower at the threatening sounds. But fireworks display our celebrations and gun fire salutes fallen heroes. What about the thunder in your life? Is God waking you up? Is God, like in the Psalm, demonstrating his protection over you, his elect? Is God expressing his promise of nourishment to a dry land in your life?