Struck by Lightning

No, I wasn't literally struck, but a thick, bright, vertical bolt of electricity powered down with a loud BOOM within 100 yards of my van as I drove down the highway between Anna and Melissa this afternoon. Interestingly, it threw down in the middle of an empty field--not the cell town 1/2 mile away, nor the nearby trees--but a tract of flat farmland.

I've never been so close to lightning before. I'm only just now realizing that the boom I heard was what I usually call thunder. Only this time, it all happened at once, seemingly the sound produced by the impact, not the reverberating sound waves that travel for miles. I'm sure they did this time, too, all the while my heart tried to settle back into normal rhythm. For while my body wasn't struck (if you don't count the seared retinas that reflected the bolt's negative image back at me for the rest of my drive), my heart was.

It all happened within seconds. The bolt blasted down. I jumped and exclaimed, rubbernecked to see what damage had occurred, ineffectually rubbed my eyes to clear the image away, and took deep breaths to calm my quavering heart. As the physical jolt wore off, the emotional impact continued.

All I could think of (yes, you can drive on autopilot) was that God made that lightning bolt. It was so powerful, so amazing, so stupifyingly beyond human imagination or control...and because it is his creation, logic and faith tell me that He is even more powerful, amazing, and beyond my imagination (and control, duh). The Bible gives me and you such insight into his character, that we can know his kind yet just nature, his holiness and redeeming love. God's personality, revealed most fully in Jesus, can be fairly well understood, given time, study, Spiritual eyes, etc. But I can't help but think of Job, a man considered righteous by God, a man who knew how just God was, how faithful and redemptive. Yet Job in his sufferings began to question Him.

God lets him talk. But then God tells him to get ready, because the creator of the universe is about to answer him. Uh-oh. I can't quote it's about two chapters long, starting in 38:

(God speaking)
“Where were you
when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you possess understanding!
Do you know the laws of the heavens,
or can you set up their rule over the earth?
Can you raise your voice to the clouds
so that a flood of water covers you?
Can you send out lightning bolts, and they go?
Will they say to you, ‘Here we are’?
(Job 38:4, 33-35)
Too often we worship a small God, someone quite different from the God who reveals himself in the Bible. He is a BIG God. He made lightning, jolts of power from the heavens that kill, split, energize, heat, destroy anything they strike--in a zap. He made hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados. On the flip side, He is the powerful creator of life--I either cried or stared in wonder at each of my three children when they were placed in my arms for the first time. I was in awe, of them, but mostly of the Lord who made them grow inside me...that miracle of life. Springtime reveals his creative, life-giving, ways as well--green grass, trees budding, bluebonnets and indian paintbrush waving in the fields, calves and foals skipping along, baby birds... And while spring is my least favorite season (that's another post altogether), it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary life-giving, redeeming power of my God.
What kind of God do you worship?


Shannon said…
ha! I hadn't looked at your blog since you first posted this - interesting, the storms yesterday made me think of the same verses. I'm so glad you're OK...yeesh!