I LOVE thunderstorms! I have enjoyed watching the flashes and listening to the growling rumble that has brought with it some much needed rain relief and cooling breeze for our extremely warm (38ºC) day today.
I become captivated watching those flashes of lightning and then wait in anticipation for the inevitable thunder clap, counting the seconds to estimate the distance of the storm away (3 seconds = 1 kilometre). I am aware that for some this is the pinnacle of fearful experiences, but not for me.
In fact, I don’t really understand how it induces fear as often it is the sound of thunder that people hate. The thunder in itself has no power. Yes, it is very often loud, but it cannot hurt you. Lightning, on the other hand, has a diabolical and sometimes lethal power.
A few years ago I was speaking to my mum on the phone and she mentioned that in a thunderstorm that afternoon the flash of lightning was so bright and the crash of thunder so loud and immediate she was almost sure it had struck her own roof! That was not the case, but sadly the lightning had struck only a few kilometres from where she lives and had killed a young father who was standing out in the open.
As much as I love thunderstorms, I love them from the safety of a building. I am not keen, in fact I am quite anxious, to be caught in one while I am driving or out in the open. I feel vulnerable and at risk.
I have never been one to trivialise the occasion of a thunderstorm by exclaiming that thunder is only the sound of God rearranging the furniture in Heaven and lightning is God taking our photo. They are a powerful force and one best experienced and observed from a position of safety, preferably snuggled up in bed with my window open so I can watch the light show.
In the book of Psalms I am reminded that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19 NIV) This is the verse that pops into my consciousness when I am watching the thundering display, and then afterwards too, as most thunderstorms bring rain with it.
What follows rain? A rainbow – another sign of God’s interaction with the world and his promises. If you would like to read more about this, check out the story of Noah in Genesis (the very first book of the Bible) chapter 9 and verses 12 to 17.
I hope this gives you something to think about next time you see that flash of lightning and start counting for that crash.