Stay. Stand. Trust.
My family knows that when a storm rolls in that I will be charging out of the house with the camera like a kid with change chasing the ice cream truck. It is so fun to run out into the night when the lightning is flashing and vibrant…and dangerous. (I am not kidding when I say that may dream job would be as a storm chaser. Do they hire almost-50-year-old storm chasers?)
If it happens to be daylight, though, I love going out after a summer storm to catch that misty recovery that the earth does as it soaks up and casts off Heaven’s wet gift.
One of my favorite places to go during one of these rainy times is about three miles from home and is the highest point in our area. It is my local mountain top. And to paraphrase what a friend said in a recent sermon, pay attention to what happens on mountaintops!
So, to my local mountaintop (hilltop) I go after a late afternoon summer storm. I wish someone could have been with me. If I wouldn’t have had the camera with me, I don’t know if anyone would have believed my mountaintop story!
The event is still as vivid today as it was then. Standing alone on the top of this hilltop, there was quite a strong wind with clouds trudging across the sky, which is nothing unusual after a summer thunderstorm. There were clouds breaking over the hills, though, that looked differently than ones we typically see. They looked almost like an avalanche bearing down over the trees and moved similar to a rope-like tornado, but horizontally. This cloud was going to roll right over me and was moving quite quickly. I had no idea of what to expect on the other side of this cloud, but I couldn’t move. I was mesmerized. Should I stand there and see what happens? Should I get in the car and leave? Should I stay?
Stay. Stand. Trust.
The wind increased, and the cloud rushed and rolled toward me. While I remained firmly planted on that spot, still awestruck, the cloud rolled over me, like an ocean wave, turbulent and noisy. The grasses and trees swayed and bent in the wind. Not only was the wind remarkable, but the temperature dropped exponentially as the twisting and rolling cloud passed.
And then it was gone, and the earth returned to...quiet.
Did that just happen? It felt like a dream, all alone on that hilltop. All alone on this hilltop I trusted, and I remained there and experienced the amazing works that only our wondrous God is capable of. It was a mountaintop experience, and it could have been none other than the house of God, and that was the gate of Heaven. And I trusted, and I was wonderstruck.
Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
Keywords: Heaven, clouds, hilltop, lightning, mountaintop, photography, rolling, stand, stay, storm, trust, wonderstruck
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