By Rev. Pete Hyde
Heavy rain in the distance blocked the satellite television signal. The house was almost refreshingly quiet. I stepped out on the front porch. The night was eerily still. The heavy rain of the past few days dampened the traffic. An orange street light cast an ominous glow over front yard. The roll and rumble of thunder signaled the coming of another round of storms that would add another couple of inches to the rain gauge. I said a quick prayer of thanks for the break in the heavy weather for the most of Sunday to allow people to be at worship.
In the dark of the night, lightening scattered across the clouds lighting up the sky like a florescent bulb having a hard time getting started. The light arced its way across the sky followed by a constant roll of thunder sounding like concert of kettle drums playing in the distance. An occasional flash of cloud to ground lightning added a dramatic exclamation point to the light show that only God could have orchestrated. This was followed by a boom of thunder like a bass drum finale. There was darkness and silence for just a moment as if a deep breath was being taken by the production crew before scene two and verse two took up where verse one left off.
Then the applause began. It was light at first – almost a hushed hand clapping as the light rain tapped against the street and the metal roof on the house next door. The rain grew heavier and in a few moments the rainy applause was almost deafening. There was even a rhythm to the rain, another orchestration to the heavenly drama God was performing in the night sky. Sheets of rain passed by the orange street light as the applause of heaven rose and fell, adding another dimension to the background of lightning and thunder.
As the storm began to pass, the applause of rain slowed to a hushed silence. The light and sound show had made its way from west to east and now was sharing its performance with others. The night grew quiet once again. Water running down the gutters of the house and dripping off the trees and roofs nearby began to subside. The swish of a car or two on the highway signaled the end of the rain – at least for a time. The wail of an ambulance siren pierced the night with a dose of reality. The television flickered back on as I went back inside. The Hollywood elite, dressed in their finest were awarding themselves little golden statues for the best in the film industry. I had witnessed the greatest show. Nothing Hollywood could produce, even with all the electronic technology that money could buy, could have put on a show like God had had just produced. There wasn’t even any need for editing or casting or any of the other myriad of categories that received Oscars.
God produced and directed a show that was beyond comparison. He did just because He could. He did it to bless those who would notice. He did it to nourish His thirsty creation. He did it to bring the springtime renewal of growth to full bloom when the light of His sun ignites spring. He didn’t produce such a show for his own gratification. He did it for us and His creation. He didn’t do it for applause or little gold statues. He did it to announce that He is God in hopes that we would turn our eyes up to Him and acknowledge that He is the true and almighty God – King and Creator of the universe. “Our God is an awesome God. He reigns!
Rev. J. Pete Hyde, Senior Pastor
Santa Rosa Beach Community Church