It was our first tornado warning in our new house. Thunder always makes third-son cry. When it starts to rumble, we have a storm catechism of sorts: Who makes the thunder? God. Is God bigger than the thunder? Yes. Does God love you? Yes. Do you need to be afraid of thunder? No. You are safe in our house with Mommy and Daddy, and God is taking care of all of us ….
My boys know that God is God of storms as well as sunny skies, and when we shelter from the tornado sirens, they don’t panic. So we crowded into the closet as the winds whirled outside, and we remembered that we and the storm belonged to God, and we could trust Him.
Then second-son asked a question: “Why does God make the storm and keep us safe in it?”
Confronting Job from out of a whirlwind, God inquires: “Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:8-9).
We found a book about David and Goliath at the Little Free Library in our neighborhood, and my boys perused it as we walked home. On the cover, David stood over a bear with his slingshot. “God gave David power to kill the bear!” first-son remembered excitedly. Further into the book, tiny, terrified Israelites peeked out of their tents as the giant mocked them and their God. “The devil made Goliath,” my boy commented.
“No,” I answered, “God made Goliath.”
“But why would God make Goliath?!?”
“The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating disaster; I am the Lord who does all these things,” God declares in Isaiah 45:7.
Pristine spring days bear His signature, but so also do tornados and tsunamis. He made Mother Teresa, but He also made Adolf Hitler.
Pulling a thistle to pieces with his pliers, second-son asked me, “Why did God make this spikey plant?”
I hearkened back to the garden, where for the first time a man feared to meet his Maker: “Cursed be the ground because of you; with hard labor you shall eat from it all the days of your life; both thorns and thistles shall it grow for you …” (Gen. 3:17-18).
By the grace of God, our house stood fast in the storm this week, but if it hadn’t, the storm catechism would have still been true: the storm is God’s storm, and He is good, and He loves us.
I have no skill to unravel the tanglings of our sin and God’s sovereignty. I struggle to see how God is good when Ukrainians hide from bombs, when tornadoes topple towns, and unborn babies are dismembered for convenience.
But I know that He is good. I know that the tornado tells a fuller story of His greatness than the sunshine alone can tell. I know that Goliath’s fall made it obvious that God was with David. I know that all these hurts make us long for healing, a healing that is promised by the God who cannot lie. A healing that will be all the more glorious in proportion to the grief of now.
He commands the storms, and within them, He shelters us. Run to Him. The storm is God’s storm, and He is good, and He loves us.
©Stacy Crouch 2022