Yesterday afternoon was one of those times. I went out to our barn to start preparing feed for the horses, accompanies by my two Mountain Boys, Val and, Sal the Great Pyrenees puppies who are now getting quite large. I put the feed out for the barn horses and brought them in, carried feed out to the pasture horses, and was in the process of getting the hay ready for distribution when I heard a large crack and boom which nearly deafened me. Looking out the open side door of the barn a huge thunderstorm was nearly upon us, quickly rolling in from the east.
I was hoping to get the hay out before it struck but it was too quick. The rain quickly changed from sprinkles to downpour and the lightning became nearly non-stop, each flash followed quickly by a thundering boom that shook the barn. Now the wind picked up, growing from a gentle breeze to pine bending fury in moments as the forward edge of the storm advanced over us. I knew I was just going to have to "hunker down" in the barn and wait for it to pass.
The wind didn't last very long, but next came hail, not something we have often here but not totally uncommon. I didn't notice it at first but the loud pinging on the metal barn roof told me of it soon enough and then I could see it bouncing off the ground, little round ice balls about the size of a dime. Looking out in the pasture, which I could barely see through the heavy torrents, I noticed Charm, our pony, looking as if horse flies were attacking her. It was the hail and she quickly ran to outdoor cover.
The lightning and thunder was so intense I thought of being in the midst of a large artillery barrage preparing the way for an Infantry assault. No one would want to be outside in the path of this storm, the lightning strikes were deafening and wherever they hit had to cause significant damage. In their own way, though, they were beautiful. One strike looked exactly like a pitchfork, beginning in the clouds like the handle while the tongs spread out and speared the ground. It was as if God was getting ready to pitch hay from the earth.
The two dogs were quite nervous, although the older of the two, Val, showed less sign of concern. His little brother, Sal, winced ever so slightly when the thunder booms went off. Val decided he wanted to go back to his doggie bed in the garage, and he set off on the thirty yard jaunt. Sal decided, although timidly, that he wanted to go with his big brother. Just after he headed out, a huge strike and thunder boom was heard and he immediately came back to my side under the cover of the barn with his tail between his legs and whimpering slightly. I rubbed his soaked head and petted him and he stayed with me for the duration.
The horses were fidgety in the barn. Part of it was that they wanted their hay but the main reason was the strength of the lightning, the banging of the hail on the roof, and the intense thunder. But they were safe and secure and I would hay them just as soon as the rain let up so that it wouldn't be soggy.
The most relaxed living creature in the barn was Rusty, the orange tabby cat. The little fellow was sound asleep up in the eaves of the barn, probably dreaming about a mouse walking by. Nothing phases that feline and his routine.
After about forty five minutes and three inches of rain it started to lighten up. Within the hour it had died out to just a gentle rain and the lightening sky was evidence that it would soon begin to clear. I went about finishing my chores, putting out the hay and putting out the horses, and then I looked carefully around me.
Luckily we never lost power, not even a flicker. And the rain was welcome since we had just finished about a two week spell of dry weather. That short burst of energy and moisture had turned the grass and leaves into a vivid green and looking at it against the advancing blue sky on the horizon and the golden rays of late day sun breaking through after the fury was simply beautiful.
So if you ever doubt the existence of God and his power and glory, take the time to really watch a summertime storm. If that doesn't eliminate your doubts, nothing will. And it will affirm your belief in the fact that we are mere mortals, brought to earth by the Father to live for Him. His power is far beyond anything we can comprehend or compete with. If by faith you accept these simple truths, your life will be wonderful. If you already have done so, you already know that you are very blessed.
Thank you, God, for your beauty and power that we are privileged to witness here on earth. May we ever be humbled by it and strengthened in our love. Have a wonderful day with God in your heart and at your side.
If you like this little story, you'll probably like my book. Check it out at my two book sites: www.outskirtspress.com/honeyweshouldaboughttheark and amazon.com/author/jamesdick. Sample passages from the book are available at both sites.