Meredith Robertson on Nahum 1:3

[This post is a part of our 2012 Summer Blogging Project.  Each Friday morning in June-September, we’ll be posting a new entry from a WMPC young adult.  Participants have been asked to reflect on a favorite piece of scripture – a passage that has become a “life verse” or that they have come back to again and again.  Each writer will do this in their own way, whether that is to write a theological reflection, share a story from their life, write a poem, or share art of some kind that illumines the passage in some way.  As a community, we are all invited and encouraged to respond to these posts in the comments section.]

Years ago, I stumbled upon a Christian book series for tween girls. It chronicled the life of a perfectly normal teenage girl named Christy as she navigated her way through life, love and huge decisions, all while learning to rely on the Lord.  Besides being completely obsessed with how hopelessly romantic the entire series was, I learned some useful information, such as where to obtain an “I escaped from Alcatraz” shirt (I may or may not own two. Don’t hate). But I also stumbled upon what has become one of my most very favorite pieces of Scripture.

Nahum 1:3 says “…His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

I don’t remember exactly in what context Christy referred to this verse, but I am sure she found it while searching the depths of her soul trying to discern what the Lord was trying to teach her through whatever crisis she was facing at the time. (She, like me, faced a lot of crises and was very emotional about them.)

Have you ever looked up the definition for whirlwind? It makes me think of tumble weeds blowing across Texas. Although, I’m sure that image came from the lyrics of a country song since I haven’t actually ever seen a tumble weed in real life.  According to my friends over at dictionary.com, a whirlwind isn’t exactly positive. It’s violent, destructive, a little bit of a dust devil. But I guess this sort of makes sense, since any of the events I would consider whirlwinds in my own life haven’t been all that positive.  Or, they at least haven’t started out that way. If you Google the word whirlwind in the Bible, a lot of references come up. And most of them are used to describe how to Lord presents himself. Sort of like without a whirlwind from the Lord, things can’t be made right. Be made new. Be made whole.

Remember that evangelical preacher Ted Haggard? I heard him speak once a few years back, and he said that sometimes the Lord does what He absolutely has to do to get you out of something in order to make you right again. And when I reflect on the whirlwinds in my own life, those events that really shook me, I see the Lord’s hand. I see all this commotion that seemingly came out of nowhere – just like a whirlwind. But then I see that whenever the whirlwind was over, and the dust had settled, so to speak, it was like a beautiful calmness, a peacefulness that only the Lord could bring.

So that brings me back to this little prophet man named Nahum. Maybe what he was trying to say – what he was prophesizing – is that even though we’re going to have these crazy whirlwinds in our lives, that will test our faith and really stretch us, if we just hang on and just go with whatever it is God is doing (because even faith as small as a mustard seed can believe that surely God is working in us during our worst moments), we’ll see that God was in it all along.  We’ll see that those clouds are the dust of HIS feet. And when all the dust settles, we’ll see that he was actually walking with us the whole time.

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