I‘m finding myself in the midst of chaos. Work. Family. Stress. Stuff. The burdens of others. The unknown. All these things — many of them good — are swirling around in my life like a storm of sorts. Stress-sized raindrops pound incessantly on my mind and emotions. Wind-like expectations whip around from work, friends, and family, sending my attention in a dozen directions. While I’m chasing these expectations one after another, uncertain anxieties crack my attention back to the present like a loud clap of thunder close by stops you in your tracks. Chaos. Loud, thundering, life-shaking chaos. That’s a good bit of my life right now.
God knows this too. In fact, not one bit of this chaos has surprised him. Not one stress raindrop or frightening thunderclap showed up without his guiding permission.
Why? Well, he’s the God who speaks in storms.
I spent some time years ago digging into the Psalms. Many struck me in timely moments, but one in particular resonated with me in those chaotic, stormy seasons of life.
Take a moment and read Psalm 29.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
In verses 1-2, David calls our attention to worship God for his majesty, splendor, and holiness. That’s an excellent place to begin seeking calm in the chaos.
In verses 3-9, David essentially takes a thunderstorm and its powerful display of wind, rain, lighting, and thunder to describe the awesome power of God’s voice in nature’s chaos.
In verse 10, David reminds us that God reigns sovereign over the thunderstorms — and everything else.
In verse 11, David prays that the God who is worthy of worship, the One who speaks in storms, the One who sits high above them, would strengthen and grant peace to his children living under the chaos of the wind and rain.
In the chaos, God wants to grant calm. In the craziness of life, God wants to display his settling control. In the echoing confusion of thundering voices all around us in chaotic moments, God wants us to realize his voice is speaking. Right there. In the chaos. That thunder? His voice. That pelting rain? His voice. That violent, ripping wind? His voice.
And what’s his voice saying?
“I’m worthy of worship regardless of what you are going through. I’m in charge of the thunderstorms in your life. They bend to my will. I’m in control. I’ve got the storms. And I’ve got you. Come to me. I’m the source of peace. I’m the provider of strength. I’ll usher you through.”
Is your life being ravaged by the chaos of a thunderstorm? Are you being shaken by the winds of life? Do you feel yourself drowning in the rising rainwaters? If so, turn yourself to the One who speaks in the storms. Listen. And as you do, you may just find his calming, sovereign voice giving peace and strength in that very thunderclap.