Thunder In The Vicinity
by Kristen Schiffman
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“For he who avenges blood remembers;
he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.”
The forecast tonight on Long Island is (and I quote), ‘Thunder in the vicinity.’ I can hear it booming outside my home. I can nearly feel the rain falling on the grass; saturating the trees and bringing spring life to a previously wintered, barren land. My eyes have caught glimpses of electrifying lightning shooting toward the earth with a force I can only imagine as unrivaled. Indeed, there is ‘thunder in the vicinity’.
Have you ever felt as if nature has the same emotions as you? Sunny days normally coincide with beachy, fun moods for me. Snowy moments, usher in comforting food and a warm, relaxing blanket and book. The wind always parallels a day of inspiration for me. It is as if with every sweep of hair across my face, the very breath of heaven is ushering me to create.
And then there is the rain. More often than not when it rains I feel as if I have no tears in me left to cry and the earth has felt the need to rally around, carrying out the task for me. Have you ever felt as though you simply had nothing else to give? Have you ever been sure that if one more stream of emotion were to fall off your face, surely you would indeed be dehydrated for the rest of your life?
This has been one of those days for me.
And then I read the words, ‘Thunder in the vicinity.’
I am simply sold out for the Word of God. You cannot imagine the depth of promise, purpose, passion and power there is to be found within its pages! Nothing makes me jump up and down like a discovery about Moses. Nothing can make me cry like reading the very syllables that escaped from the lips of my Jesus. No one makes me laugh harder than Jonah. I sympathize with no one else the way I do with Jeremiah. No one encourages me quite like Paul. No one moves me to press on toward change more than Peter. No one has taught me more about love than John.
Let me tell you with eyes that are weary from much Scripture study and hands that are daily cramped from writing my findings: You will never be satisfied fully in Christ without the study and application of His Word! I promise you that. You will not. You can test me on this. I challenge you to! I rest today in the voice of God. And I know His voice well because I am familiar with it, as I hear it everyday through His Word.
Job, the dear man, is written heartbreakingly within the pages of the Bible. We have covered his life before. He is famous for living righteously in one of the most horrific accounts of loss ever recorded. It is in the pieces of this account that we find the following about our God: “Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.’ So that all men he has made may know his work...”
Such majestic and breathtaking truth to be discovered! Borrowing the words of Elihu, a central figure in Job, “At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place.” My heart pounds and leaps from its place at the very sound of the thundering voice of God.
I believe the Christian community pushes friendship with Christ and a holy intimacy with much sincerity. I for one can testify that it is the promise of this friendship that keeps me hanging on…but what about the fear; some holy reverence before the Lord Almighty?
This place we are in is a struggle. There are constant let-downs. Disappointments. Health issues. Broken promises. Losses. Sometimes we need to have something more than friendship…and that is where the holy reverence comes in! We serve a powerful King! His voice roars like thunder! And there is nothing in your path this day that He is not fully aware of. Rest in His saving power today. Welcome a little noise. Stand in awe of His earth-shattering glory. Praise Him for His matchless might. You get yourself alone with Him and try to wrap your mind around His incomparable worth. The Word of God tells us that it is this God who will avenge on our behalf; the cries of the afflicted are not lost to Him.
Beloved, no matter what you face at this moment, I know the forecast:
There is thunder in the vicinity.
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