… and when I realized this, I recoiled from myself, aghast at how soft I’d become. In the preceding year I had moved into a full-time office job, and financial self-sufficiency, bought my first new car, and relocated to a real apartment with some friends. My life had become comfortable and controlled, rhythmic, predictable, and easy.
But this storm at Enchanted Rock had no regard for my house of cards, and it lay in ruins.
And I saw all this in my trembling soul, and thought: what the hell?! I’ve climbed winter peaks and sustained blasts of snow in the Rockies, altitude sickness and mountain monsoons and truly dangerous ice storms in New Mexico; I’ve traveled the world, endured absurd African transit, I’ve put spiritual armies to flight before the King, and I’ve breathed fire. And here I was, trembling in 40 degrees, in a Texas thunderstorm, 2 miles from the car, afraid of what might happen.
And this all coalesced in my mind at once, and I saw a comical picture of some Jews who once rode out in a boat on Lake Galilee, and then trembled with fear amidst a storm, while the creator of heaven and earth napped lazily in the stern. And I laughed out loud, at myself, at my stubborn flesh who runs from discomfort and from the unknown, and from trusting the Lord. And I laughed with the Spirit, and I prayed with confidence, and I laughed in rhythm with the chorus of furious thunder, defying it with wonder, and joy.
And I thought: this is a good God, who would bring me out here to humble me; who would fulfill my hopes for the wilderness by lying in wait for the moment that He’d spring out, with perfect timing, to show me the depth of my own weakness, and the immensity of His greatness. And I thought: this is a good God, who asks not that I increase myself, but that I simply yield to His increase within me.
And the storm spent its wrath, and simmered and drizzled and spat through the trees for the rest of the night. My shelter held up, my sleeping bag was warm. I slept very little, but this only from lack of familiarity with life on the bare ground. And I arose with the dawn light, packed up quickly, and hiked toward the glistening granite domes a mile away, to spend the day hiking and leaping among boulders, exploring and exulting in the new light of day.
Enchanted Rock becomes a wonderland after a good rain. So much granite, which is almost completely impervious to rain, creates a huge runoff effect. And so for a few blissful hours after a storm, the park is transformed. Every single dry wash, every crack and fissure in the rock, every gap between house-sized boulders, every shallow hueco and dry pool and lichen-covered grotto — EVERYTHING flows with exuberant water, splashing and spreading and bubbling and bringing life throughout the kingdom of Enchanted Rock.
And there isn’t any way that I know to better illustrate what happens in our hearts and our lives, with this God.