Last night when I laid my head down on my pillow, there was the wonderful sound of rain and a distant sound of thunder. It was perfect sleeping weather. During the night I awoke to some fierce lightning and thunder. The lightning was like a whip slashing through the air around my house, and the thunder was so horrible that it sounded like bombs were going off, shaking the windows. I couldn’t sleep, my peace disturbed, and I kept asking the Good Lord to just move that storm on through. Whenever these kinds of storms move over my head, I think about a story my grandmother used to read to me when I was a little girl.
My grandmother owned several volumes of the old ‘Uncle Arthur Bedtime Stories’ that were published in the 1940’s. I have them now in my own home and one day will read them to my grandchildren. These stories are about children and the godly lessons they learn. Some stories revolve around the subject of what was going on in that time period, World War II. They were a way for parents to bring peace to their children, children who were probably quite worried about what was happening in the world at that time. The one I always think of whenever I get a little anxious about stormy weather is, ‘How Victor Slept so Well.’ This story is about a young boy named Victor who wants to work on a farm. He goes to a cattle show where farmers will be to not only buy cattle, but also to hire young men and boys who could work a farm. Victor has an honest face and catches the eye of one particular farmer. The farmer asks Victor what he knows about farm work and the boy replies, “I can sleep on windy nights.” The farmer wonders if the boy is a little touched in the head because he gets the same reply after asking the question three times, but Victor’s honest face makes the farmer decide to hire him. Victor is an excellent worker and the farmer is pleased until one stormy night. The farmer awakes in the middle of the night to the wind howling and he knows a big storm is blowing in. He goes to Victor’s room and finds Victor soundly sleeping through the sounds of the approaching storm. The farmer tries and tries to wake the boy, but Victor still sleeps soundly. This makes the farmer furious and he runs outside to check on his barn, his livestock, and the newly cut stacks of hay. When he gets outside he finds the barn doors tightly closed and barred against the wind. He goes inside to find every animal in its place. He then goes to look at the haystacks, expecting them to be blown to pieces, but instead finds them carefully covered so that not one stalk was missing. He runs around in the darkness and blinding rain, finding everything in its place. Then he returns to the house and finds Victor still soundly sleeping. The farmer suddenly understands the words Victor replied to him on that first day, “I can sleep on windy nights.” He understood that boy did his job faithfully and there was nothing to worry about.
I can say I am not always great at being completely peaceful during a storm, that is the storms brought on by weather and the storms brought on by life. This is why whenever a storm occurs in my life, I always remind myself of the story of Victor and how he reacted. Should I be like the farmer, running fearfully through the darkness and blinding rain, or should I be like Victor at peace throughout the storm? As a Christian I should know the answer to that question. When I allow God to take fear and worry from me, He calms me and protects me from any storm. He will always put everything in its place and lead me to be the victor over whatever life throws at me. Yes, “I can sleep on windy nights” because my God is faithful and true, never changing.
Victor lived up to his name because he was an example to the farmer of what it’s like to be a follower of Christ, an example of what we as Christians should be to the world no matter how big or small the storm is that we face. People may think you’re a little touched in the head when they see your reaction to a storm, but just maybe they will come to understand why you are the way you are. As my pastor says, there are those who won’t read the Bible, but they will read you. Others are always watching us and how we react to situations. My prayer is that more and more people become like a Victor and find peace and victory in Christ. Victory over the storm.
Then he got into a boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly a terrible storm came up, with waves higher than the boat. But Jesus was asleep. The disciples went to him and wakened him, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re sinking!” But Jesus answered, “O you men of little faith! Why are you so frightened?” Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and the storm subsided and all was calm. —Matthew 8:23-26