By the window near my bed, there’s a tree where birds spend their time. Their whistling songs are my background music even as I write this. We’re in the middle of tornado season in the Midwest and every thunderstorm is a reminder that the winds could turn quickly into a disaster. Every thunderstorm steals the birds’ songs. Suddenly, when lightning and wind and rumbles of thunder shake the ground, every bird seems to be holding her breath, waiting for the end so she can sing again.
I’ve been in a thunderstorm for about three months now. There are bright spots of sincere joy and thankfulness for undeserved gifts. But even on the best days, I still feel like I’m holding my breath. I can’t find many words to describe what I feel, and there are even fewer words to describe my understanding of God’s plan. It all feels like a thunderstorm.
I’ve felt the shock of gossip, the rumble of changes all around me, the tears of disappointment, and I cannot see clearly. All the elements of the storm get the best of me and it feels disorienting. If you’ve ever been in a storm, you may know how strange it feels to find yourself asking questions you know the answers to.
How could this possibly be good? Is God being unfair and unkind here? Will this ever end? Has God forgotten me?
I know how God’s word answers my questions. My faith in God is firm enough to know that God works all things for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28-29). I have hope even though I cannot see (Romans 8:22-25). My current struggles weigh as much as a feather while the weight of God’s glory is incalculable (Romans 8:18). And I am confident that my union with Christ keeps me wrapped up in God’s love forever (Romans 8:39).
Even still, I find myself fearful of what may come next, or if God may deem it most glorifying that I stay in the middle of this storm. What if I’m left here for a while?
My love of birds makes tears fill my eyes at the thought of a tiny sparrow huddled all alone in a storm while her Maker demonstrates his might. But I bet she trusts Him more than I do. In fact, I know she does.
Birds do not worry. The sparrow is sold for pocket change, and yet the number of times his heart will beat before life leaves him is known and planned by the Father (Matthew 10:29-31). A bird earns no paycheck to ensure food for himself, yet has no need to beg for food because his Father gives him what he needs (Matthew 6:26). Safe, secure, seen - God’s eye is on the sparrow.
And I feel like a bird in a thunderstorm. I don’t know what’s next or if the storm will pass soon. But I know the storm-maker, the One who strikes the earth with bolts of light, the Lord Almighty who’s voice is like thunder that shakes the ground, the King who commands the wind and rain, and the Father who cares for the little bird, and I know He watches me.