This Monday night in Rogue River, Oregon, we experienced a lightning storm that was simply magnificent. Near midnight, I awoke to the sound of thunder. It was not long before I was awake enough to enjoy some lightning like I have never seen before. Soon, too, my sixteen-year-old son had come to join me.
The rain was pouring down, blowing in through the eastern windows of our home, and he had come to make sure that my bedroom window was closed. Once he had closed the window, he sat to admire the show with me, as my bedroom has a lovely view of the sky and the valley below us.
While I am sure it would have been just awesome to actually see the lightning bolts, they were mostly hidden from our view. The splendid flashes flooding the night, however, were not.
Beautifully expelling darkness
We sat in the black of midnight, but every so often the darkness was expelled by a light quite different from the usual white variety. As we watched, the valley lit up with a flash of blue. It was simply beautiful—color as I had never seen light our world before. Then there was a flash of purple…and then pink.
Each time, it was only a moment later that an impressive peal of thunder followed. One big crash, and then it rolled…and rolled…and rolled. I could only reason that we were in a perfect location for the sound to echo and re-echo down through the valley with nearly incredible display.
The rain continued to pour, and I thought of the people in Noah’s day. I mentioned to my son that I would have hated to have been outside the ark. This thunder was giving me chills. I can only imagine how deathly afraid I would have felt if I knew it was the sealing of my doom; if it was my realization that God’s word is faithful, His messenger was right, my pride was my ruin.
Or, fear not
Then my mind turned back to the place it usually goes in thunder storms, to a place not yet here, but soon to come. Soon the “Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout” and we “shall be caught up…to meet the Lord in the air”. I can imagine the glory that will flood not just our valley, but the entire earth, in the same way the lightning shineth from the east even unto the west. At that time, “every eye shall see him”. In the thunder, I hear a reminiscence of the voice of God. My heart rejoices in the thought, “Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like Him?”
A matter of perspective
It is all a matter of perspective. As a child of probably ten years, I recall having a problem with a neighbor child. I was being seriously threatened. Although I do not now remember the exact circumstances, I do remember two things: 1) I was at an unfair disadvantage, and 2) my daddy stood up for me. I felt safe—totally safe—walking over to that child’s house with my daddy by my side.
We are at an unfair disadvantage in this world if we think we will fight Satan alone; but God our Father is standing up for us. If we fight God, that awesome thunder may instill fear, but there is a better way! The Almighty God is on our side! Realizing this, that awesome thunder is a symbol of the power of the one who cares for us.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 29. Consider these verses in closing:
“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty…
The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness….
The Lord sitteth upon the flood; the Lord sitteth King for ever.
The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.”