As I was taking my last walk for 2010, it turned into a walk in the rain... with the sound of thunder in the distance. Since I happen to love thunderstorms, it made me smile with anticipation of what may lay ahead. Literally ahead of me, I could observe the spectacular and colorful array of fireworks!! Due to the approaching storms, celebrations by the lake were moved forward and I was blessed to catch the display.The slight melancholia that had been with me as I began this walk (after all, it is the final hours of 2010, and I was reflecting) quickly vanished as though snatched away by the wind that increased in strength.
A friend had written about taking the new year by storm and his words immediately came to the forefront of my mind. Since we share an affinity for this type weather, I knew exactly what he meant when he had used that description.That metaphor gave me the perfect imagery of rejoicing in the power and magnificence and awe of what our God can do!! He had also referred to a verse that had just never grabbed my attention before:
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. ~ Matthew 11:12
As I googled (my favorite new verb!) my way through various translations and commentaries to reach a better understanding of context and application, I was completely caught up and unaware of anything around me. Y'all aren't going to believe me, but I promise this is true: My 'AHA!' moment was punctuated with a brilliant streak of lightning and a tremendous crash of thunder!! I love God's sense of humor!! :)
Violence does have a negative image, just as the thought of a violent storm puts many in fear. I have a respect for the power of a storm, but I have to admit that my first reaction is sheer exuberance. A passion or zeal for God is the connotation I receive from both this verse and thunderstorms. Just as I don't cower in fear during a storm, neither do I want to cower in fear from life ...or God.
As a little girl, we had many summer thunderstorms. As the wind would begin blowing, I would stretch out my arms and race headlong into it as fast as I could run, laughing in absolute delight! The joy I felt while running, spinning around, and dancing along with the leaves in the trees is the same way I want to feel about life now: knowing that a storm is approaching but enjoying the moments before and watching in amazement as God displays His power in the storm.
So, yes, my friend, I agree with you that 2011 will be a year we will take by storm! God will be with you, me, and all the rest every step of the way demonstrating just how mighty and awesome He really is!!!
May 2011 be a year of joy and peace in each of your lives. God bless you all!!!