Storming and Calming

Last week was characterised by solo parenting and storms.

Jonathan was away on his first book selling event since Covid kicked off, and we were at home in stormy Illinois. Rain, thunder and lightening with a snippet of balmy sunshine on Thursday afternoon that reminded us we aren’t in the depths of winter yet. Echoes of England, as Rufus announced on FaceTime to Granny that it’s grey here, and she had a similar weather report.

Amidst the storms, Tuesday arrived and despite babysitting logistics being in place, I ended up having to take the boys to bible study with me. Pjs on, toys loaded up, beanbags in the car, film downloaded and much excitement for the ‘abenture’ of accompanying Mummy on that thing she usually does on her own.

By the time we arrived, the dry evening had become wet. Rain pelted the car, gongs of thunder followed the cracks of lightening and both boys have got their hands over their ears. By the time I’ve rushed from the car with our stuff and back again to grab little hands and race them inside, everyone is wailing and tears are in full flow. As I’m standing in the rain trying to persuade them to get out of the car, they are both refusing and looking at me, through their tears, as if I’m mad to be demanding such a thing when thunder is ricocheting around the sky.

We finally make it inside.

Bedraggled, still crying and I’m wondering if there’s any hope for the evening.

The boys and I have read, numerous times, the account of Jesus calming a terrifying squall and so we sat down and I reminded them of the Jesus that we trust. The Jesus who has power over nature, who can calm a storm and who is also our friend. The Jesus to whom we can pray, and the Jesus who we can trust and know to be bigger than us. We prayed that the storm would stop, and that we would be brave and trust God even when we feel scared.

Wonderfully the thunder faded, the storm died out and Rufus came over to excitedly whisper to me that God had answered our prayer.

Coincidently, we were studying that same passage in Mark’s gospel that evening, and I was challenged as I was teaching by the simple recognition of Jesus’ power from my four year old. The evidence says Jesus is Lord over nature, and Rufus fully expects him to stop our Lombard storm. And he does. Sometimes I find I’m caught up in the language and logistics of a bible passage and forget the real implications of what I am learning. Throughout Mark’s eyewitness account, Jesus is proven to be God’s king – he is clearly in charge and his word is authoritative. And so we can trust him. Trust him with our future, as we cling to the cross that means we have life in him, but also with our present as we live out the day to day right here and now.

Bible study carried on as normal, with the faint sound of Thomas the Tank Engine emanating from the iPad in the corner, and the boys reported to Jonathan with much delight about the adventure that included a storm that God stopped.

The week of storms and drama ended with wonderful respite as Jonathan and I got away for a night and a day to sunny, freezing Chicago. No storms, but a whole lot of thankfulness and trusting assurance as we reflected on recent months and talked of possibilities to come.

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