Last night’s storms were insane! Two hours of rumbling, deafening thunder with dazzling lightning in all directions, waves of blowing rain, and winds whipping treetops. So imagine my surprise when this morning’s Scripture reading included this:
“In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;”
The mysteries of God are like thunder and lightning – we do not know how it comes to be, or when it will rumble and strike. The intensity of thunder’s noise causes us to shake in fear of its greatness. The dramatic effect of both elements combined cause us to feel awe, trepidation and wonder. Our senses are on high alert.
Man believes we have all the answers of why thunder occurs, but yet we cannot predict the exact time or location, short of seeing where the lightning has just struck. We cannot comprehend the full scope of where, why, how, when…
Our God has shown Himself to dwell in the thick darkness of the heavy-laden clouds. When the Israelites were at Mt. Sinai, God spoke to Moses from within the clouds that covered the mountain. The people saw it, heard the thunder, and trembled in great fear.
“So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.”
“Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood afar off….
The people stood afar off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.”
The Israelites felt fear during the storm on Mt Sinai because their hearts weren’t wholly the Lord’s, but Moses felt drawn to Him. The Lord wants us to have a healthy respect and fear of Him, but at the same time, He also wants us to know we can freely approach Him if we do so with bold confidence, yet with a humbled heart, as Moses did.
God is after all the King of Kings! He is the source of all life, the author of time, and the lover of humanity. Why else would He send Jesus to teach us, to heal us, and to be the ultimate example of love for us?
“When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses.”
“After it, a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard. “God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.”
The next time you see lightning flashing and hear thunder booming, look to the heavens (from a safe place indoors).
Is God trying to get your attention like He did the Israelites?
Will you be afraid, distant and impersonal, or will you respond and draw nearer to Him with confidence and a trusting heart like Moses did?
We don’t know when the Lord will speak to us, how He will answer us, or why He answers the way He does, but we do know where He is – his heavenly place, the dark clouds, the burning fire, the deepest water, the tallest mountain, and within our hearts. He is on high, and He is with us. For that reason, we should not fear the storms of our life – rather, we should take a moment to listen, to learn, and to grow as a result of them.
Notice how Psalm 82:1 pointed out:
“In distress you called, and I delivered you…I answered you…”
Remember – the Lord hears our distressed cry, and He often delivers us from the midst of our personal storms, but not always. Maybe He wants us to see them as a blessing, as they are proof of His personal involvement in our life.
To trust the Lord in ALL things is what He asks of us, even if that means to look for Him in the lightning, or to listen for Him in the thunder.
Both represent the power and voice of our Heavenly Father.
You can find God in the secret place of thunder.
“And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.”
Food for thought: The mysteries of God will be solved when we meet with Him face to face. They are a mystery to us now because we see only in part, like in a mirror. The mirror only shows what is reflected on the outside, and even then, only a portion is visible. Our knowledge of all things is very limited and finite. God is infinite and all-knowing.
Fun facts: 1. Astraphobia (the fear of thunder and lightning or being struck by lightning) is the third most common phobia in America. 2. The average thickness of a lightning bolt is around 1-2 inches. 3. The shockwave in thunder can rupture the eardrums of people within immediate proximity, leading to impaired hearing or temporary deafness.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Lightning in the NC mountains