lightningIn our house, thunder has a variety of meanings. Some not as good as others, but that is another story. Either way, I am not a fan of thunder.

Recently, some heavy thunder visited our area along with rain and lightning. I was beginning to understand how Noah felt during his first night in that Ark. Some of the thunder was so loud it seemed like it was inside our house.

Thankfully, I lost my heebie-jeebies a long time ago.

All week long the rain came and with the rain was lightning and of course, thunder. What in the world would a rainstorm be without thunder?

One night the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I decided to stay inside and enjoy listening to the thunder on the outside. Nothing is more cozy than listening to it rain and thunder while drinking a nice hot cup of coffee. It is even better when an Apple fritter comes with that coffee, but that would create a different kind of thunder on the inside.

I must point out during this time, young people were breaking into cars, rummaging through them and stealing whatever they could find. Even locked cars were broken into and I wished I knew how they did that. I have locked myself out of my car several times. If only I had the skills of a car thief, I would not worry so much nor call AAA.

I had my vehicle broken into once and they rummaged all through it. Unfortunately, for them, I had nothing of value to steal, except several Bibles and a dozen gospel tracts. Not one of my Bibles or one of my tracts was stolen. All that work and they found nothing to steal. I had considered putting an offering plate on my seat with a sign that said, “Your tithe goes here.”

When it comes to robbing vehicles, I have no experience. If I were going to rob a car the best time to do it is doing a heavy thunderstorm when nobody wants to come outside.

If I was going to invest time in stealing, which I am not, I would not focus on cars, especially in my neighborhood. People keep the dumbest things in cars.

While listening to the storm, it suddenly got quiet. Both my wife and I took a deep breath and she said, “I think the storm’s over. I’m going to go out and check my car.”

I really never gave it much thought. I went back to the book I was reading and then I heard it. The thunder roared again like I have never heard it roar before. I was waiting for the lightning to flash, but again the thunder roared.

Of course, I thought it was thunder, but it turned out to be my wife moaning in agony.

I was rattled, jumped out of my chair and ran to the door to see what was wrong.

It took me a while to figure out what in the world was going on but when I did, I broke out in uncontrollable laughter. I'm so sorry. That’s the way my clock ticks.

Standing there, I heard my wife screaming, “They broke into my car and stole everything inside. What kind of people does this?”

I rode in my wife’s car many times and I have yet to find something in her car worth the effort of stealing. Of course, hidden in a little space on the dashboard are several gift cards for restaurants. She always keeps a collection of these so they are handy when we stop for lunch when traveling.

Everything in that car had been rummaged through and trash thrown all over the place. The only thing these “amateur thieves” did not find was the gift cards. There they were as neatly as my wife had put them. If you would look at that part in the car, you would not know they were there.

In anguish my wife said, “Look at that mess in my car.”

It was a mess for sure. I had to calm her down and so I said, “Look here, my dear. All your gift cards are in place. They didn’t touch any of these. They didn’t get anything worthwhile.”

“That is,” she said rather mournfully, “something to be thankful for.”

She paused for a moment and then said, “Look at that mess in my car.”

The sad thing about the whole situation was her car had been locked. She is very obsessive about locking her car at night. She always asks me, “Did you lock your car?”

I wanted to say, but I know when to keep quiet, that her car had been locked and still the thieves broke into it. Some things are to be left unsaid which creates a platform of happiness.

No matter what tragedy hits us, if you look for it, you can find something good. Sometimes it takes an awful lot of looking to find anything good in a situation. The effort, though, is certainly worth it.

I thought about what the apostle Paul once said. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

No matter what the situation, the great challenge of the Christian is to find something to give thanks for. A thief can’t steal anything of real value.

Rev James Snyder videoDr. James L. Snyder, is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. James is an award winning author whose books are available at

Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail [email protected]. The church web site is

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