Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Lightning and Thunder

            One summer evening a thunderstorm loomed on the horizon. I love a distant display of lightning, but the dark clouds were coming my way. Static interrupted the music on the radio as the storm approached.
            It wasn’t long before the flashes of lightning and static became more frequent, the thunder rumbled mere seconds after each flash. It was almost here. I decided to hunker down in the hallway. I felt a little foolish. I’m a grown woman. I like to think I’m fairly brave, but there I sat, knees to my chest, fingers in my ears.
            The flash came as a blinding, white, light and in the same instant, silence. My radio went dead, the lights went out and the silence was deafening—for a millisecond.
            CRASH!
            An intense angry blast jolted the entire house. The windows rattled and the house vibrated as thunder growled across the sky.
            I thought of only one thing.
            What came to my mind in the split second the radio went dead and the house shook was the caricature of a lightning bolt hitting a stick figure from heaven—God striking someone down for disobeying Him. As the windows rattled, my mind raced to the way that our country, our world has rejected God. How angry He must be.
            The bible speaks of the anger and wrath of God.
            But we focus on the kinder, gentler scriptures that speak of His grace and mercy. It seems we sugarcoat our testimony with the sweetness of his lovingkindness. “God loves you, God is gracious, God is kind and merciful”
            All of those things are true.
            That night, as the floor trembled and darkness enveloped me, I felt the power of that bolt of lightning. I felt a tiny minutia of power in comparison to the power of our God. It reminded me that some day, a day that is closer with every moment that passes, He will return and righteously judge us all. When that day comes, will those who have rejected his love and mercy and grace say to us, who knew of the wrath to come, “Why didn’t you tell me about His wrath?”
            Could it be that while some are drawn to him by His love, some will require the fear of God to recognize their need of a Savior?
            Should we be like the man on the street corner holding a sign that says: God’s wrath is coming! No. I don’t think that’s the answer. But perhaps we could season our witness with more of the full truth of His character—sharing the consequences of rejecting God as well as sharing the benefits of accepting His grace and forgiveness. Perhaps in the dark of night, when the radio goes dead and the earth is silent, that knowledge will seal in someone’s heart the need for a Savior and will cause some who are lost to be found.

Revelation 6:15-16
Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."

But wait... 2 Peter 3:9 says, The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.