Last week I awoke to the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance. Most of the household was asleep, and as I tried to drift back to dreamland myself, my plans were interrupted. Scottie, our Scottish Terrier, heard the thunder and began his usual routine of running back and forth throughout the house, barking ferociously or fearfully, I’m not sure which, at every rumble. Yelling at him doesn’t help, as soon as you stop staring at him, he goes right back to barking. Locking him in his cage doesn’t send the message that he should be still and quiet, he just whines and barks from there. But that is precisely where I put him, hoping to keep him from running up and down the hallway, waking the entire household at four AM. Instead, it woke up Bekah, who either out of aggravation or sympathy, let him out of the cage and sat on the couch with the scared doggy until the storm passed.
The thing that Scottie doesn’t realize, is the fact that thunder can’t hurt him. It’s just a big scary noise. He wastes all that energy, gets worked up in a frazzle, over something that is totally harmless. He is ignorant of the lightning, which could hurt him, if he ran recklessly around outside in it. But he is safely inside the house, secure and protected, yet he continues to run frantically around barking, not knowing he is safe.
I started to think about how often I act like a little dog barking at thunder. How easily I get stressed over the things that really can’t hurt me, and run around frantically barking at the people around me. What about those things in our lives that seem scary or uncomfortable, how do we react to those? Do we run back and forth, not accomplishing anything, talking fearfully and worrying? Sometimes I wonder if God is tempted to put us in our little cage just to get our attention and say "Be still and know that I am God." Yet I think He is more like the one who releases us from the cage, curls up on the couch with us, and comforts our worried hearts.
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 NLT
The next time the thunder rumbles in your life, when something has you scared or stressed, stop and think about this. Nothing can separate you from God’s love. NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. And if we have His love, is there anything, big or small, that He can’t help us through? Snuggle in close to Him and get the comfort and strength you need. He’s waiting for you.