The thunder cracked and a bolt of lightening lit up the living room. I looked down and there she was, Molly, my scardy schnoodle.
Molly was born afraid of storms. Her fear became evident during the first storm she weathered as a member of the family. As the wind whipped and the rain fell our little schnoodle puppy was shaking like a leaf while her big, brave sister Pippy slept on the floor completely unaware that a meteorological disturbance was under way. Molly has grown up quite a bit since that first storm. She no longer chews flip-flops and she's completely house broken. She's even shed all of her puppy fur but she hasn't shed her puppy fear.
When storms come Molly is still just as fearful as she was during her first storm. She quivers, shivers and shakes. Unlike Marley of the best selling book "Marley and Me," Molly suffers from the form of fear that paralyzes and not the form that induces fits of destruction. Even in the worst of storms Molly has never destroyed couch cushions or chewed through wooden furniture. When Molly becomes fearful she goes completely silent and freezes, usually right underneath my feet while I'm cooking dinner.
Inevitably storms always seem to roll in at dinner time. The moment I see the dark clouds I know that my meal preparation is going to have a furry friend under foot. Fearful Molly always wants to be as close to human comfort as possible. She sits right on my toes as I stand at the counter, her little body practically glued to the side of my leg. Poor Molly gets stepped on countless times in every dinnertime storm but she doesn't let it deter her from planting herself as close to me as possible even when I'm moving around like a whirling dervish, tripping over her at every turn. Her kitchen presence during storms has caused me to take countless dangerous trips and near falls all while wielding a knife and cutting board.
Molly's unconquerable fear of storms and obtrusive presence in the kitchen used to frustrate me and produce in me exasperated sighs. When will she outgrow this? I would think to myself. At each rumble of thunder Molly's shaking fur would answer my question. Never.
Molly is three and showing no signs of overcoming her fear of storms. And that's okay by me because I'm no longer seeing her need to stand under my feet in fear as an annoyance. Now when I look down at my shaking schnoodle I have a new found compassion because I have a new vision.
You see, when I look down at Molly I see myself and my inner need to be comforted, protected and reassured by the steady and sure presence of my Master and Father God. When storms in my life come and the thunder shakes my foundation I run, just like Molly, to the feet of my Savior and Protector. I run to the foot of the cross. I take refuge from the wind and rain in His courage and strength. I plant myself underneath His feet and rely on Him to calm my anxious soul.
My Father God never loses patience with me while I cower underneath His cross. When I am fearful He does not push me aside or dismiss me as a burden. I am never in His way. He loves to have me at His feet. He cherishes the time I spend at the throne of His grace. He pours into me the strength I cannot gather on my own. He clams me with the peace I am powerless to produce. He loves me. Oh, how He loves me.
And so I will love on Molly when she comes to me in the storm, shaking in fear and overcome with distress. I will look down on her little worried face and have mercy on her even when she is in my way, causing me to nearly fall flat on the kitchen floor. I will stand as her courage and provide her my peace because that is just what Jesus did for me. That is just what Jesus does for me during every rumble of thunder, every crack of lightening and every battering wind. Because Christ stands strong through the storm I can rest assured in His presence and know that the sun will shine again.