I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust …
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid …
In my distress I called upon the Lord …
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
Then the earth shook and trembled…
The show was about to begin. The deep rumble reverberated in our bones, giving us notice to take our seats. I, my two brothers and a handful of cousins scrambled up onto the car. From the vast, horizontal surfaces of the late ’50’s model sedan we scanned the sky.
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His secret place,
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.
The curtain went up and we gazed, all agog, at the monstrous thunderheads, the changing hues from lighter greys to deep teals. The breeze picked up, which served to heighten our anticipation. All around us, 360 degrees, the eerie blackness of a stormy day closed in. God was near. We were certain of it. He was going to do something really big.
The Lord thundered from heaven
And the Most High uttered His voice …
He sent out his arrows and scattered the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
Our home had no television. We didn’t go to movies. God was the creator, producer and director of the shows that fired our imaginations. And His special effects still are unmatched. Near the horizon, where the Kansas wheat fields met the sky, lightning zipped across the expanse like arrows released from the bowstring. The distant rumbling rolled closer. “Jesus is now moving furniture around in the mansion he’s preparing for us,” we imagined.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered,
At your rebuke, oh Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
A flash. The world around us turned white. For one breathtaking moment we saw a million individual heads of shining wheat brought into relief against the stormy backdrop. Each one seemed to shout, “Surprise! Look at me in all my glory given me by the Glorious One!” It only lasted an instant; we drew our collected breath. And before we could exhale, the crashing thunder blasted our eardrums. That was close! And totally exhilarating. The rain came fast now in slushy pellets. Hail! Time to watch the show from inside the house.
Through imaginative play a child tries reality on for size. Does it fit? Does this God of the big screen square with the God Daddy reads to us about in the Bible? Does this God go to school with me and protect me from the bullies? He does. And it fits this young heart, this precious faith.
Take every opportunity to point your child’s imagination heavenward. So then, when he is no longer a child and death surrounds him, evil frightens him and he is in deep distress, he will call on this God, his Lord. He will also say
He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me,
For they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.
How capable is your God? Your child’s God? Maybe we need to get out more; to take a front seat under the biggest screen on earth and try that on for size! Hey, it’s free!
Photo: The Kavango River and Angola as seen from Rundu, Namibia