When I was little I used to be terrified of thunder and lightning. Then one night, I guess when I was around six years old, my dad took me out on the front porch during a thunderstorm and snuggled up with me on the porch swing. The lightning flashed in the sky and we counted “mississippis” until it thundered, which is the most accurate way to calculate the distance of the lightning (just ask any child under the age of 10!).
In the middle of the storm, I remember my dad leaning over and saying “don’t be afraid of the thunder; it’s just God telling you He loves you”. I now know that thunder is caused by clouds, electricity and friction, but back then, hearing my dad tell me God loved me so much he wanted to proclaim it loudly for everyone to hear, my little six-year old heart was filled with joy.
That’s why I love thunderstorms.
I guess you could say I enjoy hearing the thunder because it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood memories, but I think it’s also because seeing the flash of lightning, hearing the booming thunder and feeling the things around me vibrate all show me a glimpse of the power of God. Today I was reminded of that sweet memory during the chaos of the tornado, hail and flash flood warning.
This picture I took on my way home from work tonight… The clouds looked so ominous and they were this awful greenish tint. *insert shudders here*
Even though I love this weather, it is also so hard for me to see the destruction caused by tornadoes (like the two houses that were uprooted tonight), or the damage the hail created (trees broken, cars totaled and houses ruined) without wondering “Why would God let these catastrophes happen?”
So I got out my Bible and was reminded of how different His perspective is from mine!
1. These “catastrophes” are evidence of God’s power and divine nature.
When his voice thunders, the heavenly ocean roars. He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons. He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain. He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it. (Jeremiah 10:13)
2. He allows “bad things” to happen because everything belongs to Him. He can do what he wants with it!
The heavens belong to you, as does the earth. You made the world and all it contains. (Psalm 89:11)
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
3. His reasoning far surpasses our own.
5 God thunders with his voice in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. 6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall to earth,’ and to the torrential rains, ‘Pour down.’ 7 He causes everyone to stop working, so that all people may know his work. 8 The wild animals go to their lairs, and in their dens they remain. 9 A tempest blows out from its chamber, icy cold from the driving winds. 10 The breath of God produces ice, and the breadth of the waters freeze solid. 11 He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through the clouds. 12 The clouds go round in circles, wheeling about according to his plans, to carry out all that he commands them over the face of the whole inhabited world. 13 Whether it is for punishment for his land, or whether it is for mercy, he causes it to find its mark. (Job 37:5-13)