Last week I drove to work through a fierce thunderstorm. Surrounded by lightning with thunder roaring in the distance, I thought of the psalms that showcase creation and speak of God's power. Buckets of rainfall obscured my visibility, forcing me to focus fully on the road and my steering wheel. I followed the dim brake lights ahead for miles and made it to work safely, grateful to rest from the stressful drive.
As soon as I reached our nursing station, an iPhone photo was flashed in front of my face. "The baby was born! Little Joseph is here!" Our medical assistant had her baby during the storm, his first cries blending in with the symphony of thunder outside their window. We rejoiced together as we started our morning by praying for the new baby and his family!
Most of my patients were late, and between visits I had time to ponder the morning's contrasts: the power of a storm and the tenderness of new life. I thought of one-hour old Joseph, his sweet nose, soft skin, and tiny fingers. I also thought of my godchild, William, born two years ago in the middle of a hurricane in a hospital room run by generators. When it was time for these babies to be born, they arrived - exactly at the right time.
The storms could not hold back life.
As I waited for my nurse to check in my last patient, I reflected on God's perfect mix of power and tenderness. The One who set our planets in motion also tenderly knit each of us in our mother's wombs. The One who spoke majestic sequoias and the Everglades into existence tended the wild flower in a field no one will ever walk and the butterfly that will live less than a month.
The One who created the killer whale also crafted a gentle giant in the prey-less manatee.
Thoughts of God's power and creativity led me to contemplate His goodness and love. Did God need to give a flower scent or colors to the ladybug? Did there need to be hopeful rainbows after storms or a new day after the gloom of night? Why even give us a moon and not leave us in the dark? Why, indeed?
Psalm 139 reminds us of God's intimate involvement with His creation. We were "woven together in the depths of the earth (v.15)." We were "fearfully and wonderfully made (v.14)." The same God that made the whole world also made each of us, knows us intimately, and loves us.
God the Father is powerful and tender. He is just and good. And Jesus reflects and reveals his Father's power and love. He, too, is powerful and tender. Jesus is the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God. He has power over sin and death, yet his love led him to the cross for us - every one of us that was knit lovingly, individually, carefully, fearfully and wonderfully.
May we experience this unequaled power and this tender love abundantly as we continue to walk through Lent.
Rest in Him,