THE THUNDER IN THE DISTANCE
by Arway Sayeh-Swepson
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THE THUNDER IN THE DISTANCE
An old song came to my mind the other day. I can’t remember the name of it but I think the lyrics go like this:
Tell me why are you crying my son.
Is it the THUNDER in the distance you fear?
In this world filled with sorrow and woe;
will it help if I stay very near?
I am here!
…and if you take my hand my son, all will be well when the day is done…
Then I began to wonder about the thunder and its purpose. Other than the thunder being associated with the deadly lightning, it is just a loud terrifying noise. What really is the purpose of a thunder? Is it just to scare people from a distance? What is all that loud noise about anyway and has it really hurt anyone?
A thought entered my mind--the thunder is just like Satan—standing at a distance; rumbling and roaring; threatening and taunting the child of God. Do you know why he is standing at a distance; ranting and raving? It is because he can’t have his way with us completely and all because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Satan is bluffing and grasping at straws. He knows that his time is short and he is aware of his future. He is going down and he wants to take as many people as he possibly can down with him. That is why he is roaring with all of his might—trying his best to distract us.
Therefore, do not be startled when you hear the thunder; especially when you are a “true” child of God. Even though, we are God’s children, every now and then in life we will hear the roar of thunder in the distance (a threat of an imminent misfortune). It scares us and makes us anxious. Sometimes the thunder is so loud and horrible that we panic and forget who we are as children of the almighty God. It shakes the very foundation of our faith and when the foundation of any structure is shaken, it is a very serious matter.
Today, what is the “thunder” you hear in the distance that is mocking and scaring you--causing you to sweat and shake in your booths? What is that “thunder” that is giving you sleepless nights and turning your hair gray? Is it the threat of being laid off from your job? A threat of an imminent foreclosure or filing bankruptcy; a threat of an eviction; a threat of loosing a family member due to illness; a threat of remaining a spinster for the rest on your life? A threat of your biological clock ticking and expiring; a threat of your marriage being destroyed; a threat of failing the State Board or Bar exam again; a threat of your teenage child becoming a juvenile delinquent? Really, what is it that is turning you into a disturbed person?
Don’t you know that no matter how loud and frightening that thunder is, our God is greater? John 4:4: “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world”. Now tell me, why are you acting as if you do not have a God? Didn’t the Bible say (Philippians 4:6) that we should be anxious for nothing but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make our requests known to God? Why don’t you talk to God about your situation? Hebrews 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in the time of need”.
Do not believe that you are the only person who hears a thunder in the distance and is afraid. At some point, everyone hears and fears the thunder. No one is exempt from misfortune. There is no such thing as righteous immunity. All of the people that you regard highly; your bishop, your pastor, the evangelist and that holier-than-thou church member have crisis too.
Everyone has a darkest hour; everyone gets concerned about issues and is scared at times. To be concise, we are all mortals. No matter how saintly people may seem, the old human side manifests at times; it fails, it frets, it gets anxious, it gets angry and it hurts too.
The rain will always fall on the good and the bad. As long as we live on this fallen earth with Satan and his cohorts roaming about endlessly (seeking whom they may devour), everyone will hear the sound of thunder often. No matter how pleasant life may be, it has its tempting hours.
There will be times when our faith in God is severely challenged—when God does not make sense to us; when there are more questions than answers; when the wicked continues to prosper; when bad things happen to good people; when you constantly go from hand-to-mouth and at times, when the hand can’t even reach the mouth.
Nevertheless, there is a way to deal with that loud and intimidating “thunder”. Because of Jesus Christ, we have the power to silence the thunder in the distance no matter how loud and terrifying it may be. Now tell me, child of God, who is that person or what is that situation that is saying there is no hope for you. Where did you hear it from? I’m sure that neither God nor one of his “true” prophets told you that. It is not written in his word either. Lies, my friend, nothing but lies. They are nothing but empty threats from the pits of hell. Do not entertain negative thoughts. Know that whatever you are going through today is only temporary and it shall pass. No condition is permanent.
Don’t mind the thunder. It is just a scare from the devil; saying to you what he would like to do to you. He is sounding his alarm of mockery; telling you that he is coming after you. He is bluffing and flexing his muscles; telling you that he has power and he will harm or destroy you.
Remember that the thunder is just a scary sound. It is not like the lightning that yields deadly consequences. It is a sound with nothing to back it. It only becomes deadly if you allow it and don’t take action as a Christian. You can neutralize that threat with your prayers. You have authority to do so. Luke 10:19, “Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you”. Take authority as a child of God!
Bear in mind that the thunder or threat is at a distance. It is forthcoming and is not yet a fact. Therefore, it is preventable. Since it is just a threat, why don’t you try and stop it before it becomes a reality. Begin by taking everything to God in prayer. You have that privilege as a child of God.
Do not be troubled. Jesus is saying to you today; “if you take my hand my child all will be well when the day is done”. Trust in me when you are sinking; I’m your bridge over troubled waters; Trust in me when things are falling apart; I am your solid rock. Trust in me when you are weary; I am your strength; trust in me when you are surrounded by problems; I am your shield. If you trust in me and walk by faith and not by sight, all will be well with you. I am that I am and my word shall never return void.
Our God is greater than our problems and we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. So my friend, do not fret. Hold on and trust in God. Don’t’ you know that God has a plan for your life? Only God holds the future. He is the author and finisher of your faith. Not some loud and big mouth “thunder” with empty threats. Whatever your pain or sorrow may be, whatever setback you have suffered, whatever heartache you have had, just remember, weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning. With your head lifted up, you shall face tomorrow and that thunder that is hollering in the distance, you shall hear it no more.
Having done all to stand, stand therefore! Persevere child of God! Job said, “I will wait till my change come”. Why don’t you wait until your change comes? God has your change and he has not forgotten you. No matter how persistent and terrifying that thunder is, God will show up soon and not only will he show up, he will show off!
As God begins to show off in your life, he shall restore your soul, you shall not want, your cup shall run over, his rod and staff shall comfort you and whenever you hear the roaring thunder, you shall not be moved but shall proclaim how great your God is.
In the future when you hear the roaring thunder, just visualize that it is God pacing up and down in Heaven regarding your situation—in the process of working all things out for your good. The loud noise is not a threat after all. It is the sound of the hem of God’s garment in high friction with the floors of Heaven as he moves aggressively on your behalf.
Arway Sayeh-Swepson 2007
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