The thunder crashed in the early morning, and I shuddered at the sound, so near. But I had heard the rumblings first from the distance, and that’s when the tears welled, His presence washing.
The night before had left the heart raw – much of that hurt rising from my own disappointment in myself and my response to a very small infraction by another. My own selfishness, so alive and well, with pushed out chest, had claimed excuses for the sting. Tears falling silent at the end of the night, the sun went down and closed the day in His grace. Yet I was slow to receive it.
And as the morning crept in, it was that distant thunder that woke me, before eyes opened or a word was spoken. And I knew it was the Lord Himself who beckoned my heart with the sound. (Why do we make the Creator so far from His creation – as though He can’t – or wouldn’t – speak in the thunder to wake a heavy heart?)
The God Who Waits for Us
It seemed He’d been waiting all the night long for me to wake, waiting to be the first that I turned to, the first to sway my emotions and my thoughts. (And why do we always think it’s us waiting on Him, when, like a father poring over his slieeping child, he waits for the first openings of heart, the waking of our eyes – always desiring to be the first to fill our gaze and find our affections?)
Even as He pored over that first man in the garden, waking him to life – and his first flood of sight was the face of God, He pores over us. (Gen. 2:7)
With the rolling thunder finding my raw heart, He was whispering from the distance,
I’m still here. I’m so near right now, and I know. I know you’re weary with yourself, with the rigors, with the achings of human hearts fighting for love and falling flat on faces, and standing up again, and again, and again. I know. But do this with Me – not alone. I want to be near you, even here.
And tears came as I lifted that heart He’d been waiting for to its Maker. Yes, I’m Yours. Even here. Even now. Even though I wish it were different. Even though some heart aches are holy and some are born in the sorrows of selfishness. Yes, I won’t draw away from You. I will give You this heart yet again.
It’s Just A Matter of Time
And while that yes was still being formed, another sound came – this time crashing and sending shudders through me – bolting me upright. Thunder so near it seemed inside me. And with its shout came such a different understanding from the Lord.
It’s just a moment till you see Me! I know you’re weary now but it’s just a moment until the night will be over and I will come. It’s just a moment until the Day dawns and the shadows flee away! I’m so close! Though you feel you’ll never get beyond this night, remember! It’s just a matter of time!”
And in my mind’s eye I saw this present moment and that future Day rushing toward one another swiftly, the gap between them vanishing instantly. And then I remembered again what I didn’t know I had forgotten: It’s just a moment till we see Him.
Other times, the thunder crashes in so loud and abrubtly, startling us and even realigning us with this one truth: though He tarries, He will come – ultimately and forever (Rev. 22:7; Hab. 2:3). And then the tears will be wiped away. The pain will be no more. Sorrows will finally cease (Rev. 21:4). Though it seems we will never stop trekking on this pilgrimage, there is an appointed hour and He will surely come. His eyes we will meet. His countenance we will behold. His perspective of these days will pervade all. And forever, we will be with Him (Rev. 22:4).
There are two kinds of His nearness, and both change everything.
Let us hear the thunder in the distance and then shutter at the sound as it comes near, and be touched by these two things: the sweetness of His nearness right where we are and the trembling surety of His soon Coming. For He is just that near to our hearts – near enough to pore over us and wait for us to wake and find Him – and it’s just a matter of time until the waiting is over and He Himself will come (Rev. 22:7).