I stood beside Karen’s bed as I had many times before. A thunderstorm was coming, and we could see the lightning and hear the thunder as we looked out her window. Our fifth child, 2-year-old Karen, was particularly sensitive to storms.
My wife, Gini, was nursing a baby, and my “knightly” duty was to take care of the other children during the night. That included sitting up with Karen until a storm passed.
This stormy night was no different than many before, but the weariness seemed to be more noticeable as I sat on her bed. I had to leave the house early to begin my day of research and writing demanded by my course of study. There had to be a better way to comfort Karen than sitting with her or lying beside her until the storm was well passed.
Responding with Scripture
“Daddy, I’m scared” is a statement heard by almost every father at one time or another. It can be a simple response to an unusual activity like riding an amusement ride for the first time. It can also be a deep, inner expression of fear. As I have faced these situations as a father, I have tried to respond with Scripture, a truth from the Bible, or a biblical principle. My desire is to help my children learn to trust in God.
One night I decided to use these storms to teach Karen what they told us about God. I told her that God made the lightning; that God made the thunder, and that we could learn about God when the storms came. I started telling her that the storm taught us about how mighty and powerful our God is. He made the storm and the brightness of the lightning showed His power. The loud thunder showed the might our God has. He made the storm, and He controlled the storm.
Psalm 68:33-34 says, “To him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies” (ESV). David, the author of the book of Psalms, used creative language and descriptions to teach that God controlled the storm and that His power was seen in them. It was important for Karen to understand that the God we serve and worship controls the very thing that frightened her, and that through the storm, God demonstrates His great power.
I don’t remember how many times I talked to her about these truths, but I did it every time a new storm kept her from going to sleep or wakened her during the night. At last, I simply began to ask her, “What does the storm teach us about God?” For awhile I would provide the answer: “Mighty God, powerful God.” Over and over I did this until one night I asked the question and let Karen answer. She responded with a sense of awe in her voice, “Mighty God, powerful God.”
Weeks went by, and my times with Karen grew shorter and shorter. And I vaguely remember a night when I didn’t even get out of bed. As the storm crashed around us, I called out, “What does the storm teach us about God?” I heard Karen respond from her bedroom, “Mighty God, powerful God.”
What bliss! I rolled over and went back to sleep.
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