We’re having one of those amazing thunder & lightning storms tonight.
The dark sky is all lit up with bolts of lightning that come down from the heavens. For a second or two, all is illuminated with a terrifying beautiful light.
Rock and tree, grass and sky all share for a fleeting moment in a brilliant all-encompassing luminosity that bonds us all together, before leaving us back in awe.
And then comes the merciful rain.
As I look back on my own life, I see a few periods of dark storms, even thunder and lightning. There were periods where the storms of life came, events that shattered me, or at least shattered my sense of who I was.
At the time they seemed to last forever,
and it was hard to tell the difference between myself and the suffering.
Then they were gone.
And then came down the mercy.
Alhamdulilah, those pains were always followed by merciful rain.
Here is one of the promises that we are given in Scripture.
The Scripture does not say that “after” difficulty there is ease.
It states, and emphatically, that the ease is there already, inside the difficulty.
Muslim mystics like Ibn ‘Arabi say that the heart of the faithful is held between the “two fingers” of the All-Merciful.
It has helped me to see that even as love and gentleness of rain are aspects of God, so is the awesome and majestic thunder.
It has changed how I listen to the thunder, and how I see through lightning.
I’m still in awe, but I know that it’s linked to the rain.
Our God is a God of the dark nights, and the bright flashes.
A God of the lofty peaks, and the low valleys.
A God of the pain, and the ease.
A God of life, and of death.
A thousand deaths have I died in this life
Why should I fear any death again
When I’ve always been resurrected higher
Why should I fear any lightning and thunder
When I know they also contain life-giving rain
Praise be God, the Lord of all the worlds,
no matter which world we happen to be living through at the moment.
Praise be God,
God of the lightning,
God of the thunder,
God of the merciful rain.