Ever notice how thunder gets your attention? I have been so absorbed in fishing at a stream on occasion, not even noticing the storm clouds gathering in the skies behind me, and then all of a sudden there is this huge rumble of thunder that manages to call me back to awareness. It wasn't that the storm wasn't there already. It was that I wasn't aware of it coming my way! The thunder alerts me to the approach of the storm oftentimes in enough time to "shelter" prior to the downpour. Yet, there have been the occasions when the thunder came so close to the downpour that I just didn't escape it! In both cases, if I had been paying attention, I would have observed the signs of the impending storm!
While it is not always possible to escape the storm, it is usually possible to "shelter" from it. Life's storms come at us in many different ways - making it sometimes a little harder than others to actually know one is on the way. We live in the dry deserts of Arizona and just about any afternoon in the hot summer days can result in a billowing dust storm. The rolling walls of dust darken the sky, turning the light able to pass through its thickness a reddened hue, giving a pretty eerie feeling. I have also lived in the Alaskan winters and endured many a grey, cloudy and snowy day. The blizzards can white-out the sky and create quite a challenge, as well. Yet, nothing quite brings one to attention like the peel of lightning and the crack of thunder.
Did you know thunder can be heard at a distance of about 3-4 miles away? That means if we are able to hear it, pay attention to the storm's approach, and then move into action, we should be able to "shelter" from the approaching storm. The average thunderstorm is 5-6 miles wide, meaning it can cover ground we may not have imagined it would hit. If we hear the thunder, it is always wisest to get to a place of safety! In real life, we'd like "early warning systems" to alert us to approaching "life storms", wouldn't we? Well, if we keep in mind that God speaks to his kids well in advance of whatever is coming our way, we might just be able to "shelter" quicker. It isn't that he doesn't warn - it is that we don't always pay attention to the warning signs! Just sayin!