Praise the LORD from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
The storm this past Sunday night disturbed my sleep. Lightning and thunder crashed for hours, rocking the night sky and startling me out of my dreams. Hail crashed against the roof above me.
I normally love thunderstorms, so I was surprised to be so rattled by this one. Maybe it was the intensity of the thunder, maybe it was the time of night and where it hit in my sleep cycle, but something about this storm was especially unsettling.
Through much of scripture, hailstorms are a sign of danger. Hail is one of the plagues that is afflicted upon the Egyptians to persuade them to free the Israelites. The prophets threaten that God will send hail to destroy the harvest of the enemies.
But the psalmist praises God even for the strength of fire, hail, snow, frost and stormy wind, sent to do God’s work in the world. Maybe God uses storms to clear the atmosphere of toxic negative energy. Maybe God used Sunday’s storm to clear my mind of toxic, negative thoughts, and draw me back to the saving power of God’s hand. Maybe a restless night calls me back into the safe embrace of God’s ultimate care of me.
By morning, the storm had lifted, and the heavy humidity was cleansed from the air. Rather than thunder, birds sang through my window and invited me into a new day. Puddles sparkled in fresh light, and in spite of the hours of wakefulness, I was refreshed.
Storms may shake us, but God’s love stands firm. I’m going to look for ways to praise God, even while thunder rumbles.