(I had two other pics for this blog, but blogger wouldn't let me upload them!!! After 4 days of being frustrated, I am giving up and just posting it as is...)
Back when I was a kid, all the way through college, I was very afraid of lightning. I think it may have started when I was about 3 and the house across the street got hit by lightning and burnt down. We lived in the country back then and they had a lot of horses. I wasn't even there the night the house burnt down (I was at my aunt's) but for some reason I have it in my head that the horses were screaming. I remember my aunt telling me the same night (across town) that the lightning was God's hand and fingers coming down from heaven...it sure did look that way! I am suprised that did not make me scared of God, on top of lightning!!
Anyway, for years I was afraid of lightning and thunder. I had a job at a place called Drug Emporium and I used to hide under the counter during bad storms. Sometimes, I even cried. It was very embarrassing!
When I was about 23, my first husband, David, and I went on our annual trip to the Durango area to visit the most beautiful place I have ever seen....Electra Lake. (Here is a pic of it...I have a better one, but I'd have to dig it out and then get my scanner working...and, as you know from the previous blog, I am having computer problems so I don't want to deal with it!!!) We would go there every year with his family for about a week. His parents' best friends' mom owned a cabin there and we all loved it up there.
Not very far from Electra Lake is Ouray, Colorado - a wonderful little touristy town that I had first visited when I was 15. Ouray is nestled in the midst of towering mountains on every side. To get to Ouray, you have to go through hairpin turn after hairpin turn down the mountain. (It's called the Million Dollar Highway - it cost a million dollars per mile to build) From Silverton to Ouray is 22 miles but it can take up to an hour and a half to traverse that, just because of how slow you have to navigate the turns. David and I decided to visit Ouray one day, so I could show him "the Little Switzerland of America." As we started out, it started to rain and storm with lightning and thunder to boot. Now, on a good day, the road down to Ouray is pretty scary....especially after growing up with my dad who liked to go all the way over to the side of mountainous roads to look down them! But trying to go down it in blinding rain with lightning and thunder was terrifying. I curled up in the little space between the passenger seat and the engine and hid my head. I was sobbing and basically freaked out. I was very close to throwing up. I honestly thought, actually I was 100% sure, that we were going to die.
It was at that moment that I decided to pray. (I was a Christian back then, but not church going, spirit filled or very knowledgable) I prayed for God to take us to heaven quickly and without pain but while I was praying I began to feel more peaceful. As the peace was coming over me, I realized that we might not die and I got back into my seat and kept praying. I was actually able to look around and not freak out. Then I was completely overcome by peace and realized that if I was going to trust God, I was going to have to do it completely. There really wasn't any point in trusting him to take me to heaven, if I couldn't trust him to take care of me on earth. I had never felt so free as that moment, when I realized I no longer had to worry.
I was never again scared of lightning and thunder, in fact I love them now. Mountainous roads are beautiful to me now too, although I am still unlike my dad in that I like to stay FAR from the side of the cliff. This afternoon I relaxed and enjoyed a beautiful lightning storm and was reminded of that trip to Ouray and reminded of how important it is to truly trust God. You can't pick and choose what you will trust God with. You can't pick and choose parts of the Bible to believe. Our relationship with God must be an all or nothing deal. When we don't give our all, we don't experience His all and we will never be able to fully experience His kingdom for us here on earth.