Several days ago, on Monday evening to be specific, we were all celebrating Memorial Day at Kristin’s house. We had finished working for the day, the weather had been good and we were enjoying a meal together as a family. Jill, who is moving back to Carmel from Oklahoma, had her offer accepted on a house and everyone was excited about the end of the school year, Jill’s impending move back to Carmel and the beginning of summer.
Then it started to rain a little, for a short time, and the sun came back out. But it was not to last. Right after dinner, we could see the sky cloud up again and turn a very dark gray. Suddenly, out of the west, the rain came, and came, and came. In fact, the wind was blowing so hard that it was almost horizontal. As we were sitting there, watching a movie together, there was a crack of lightning and thunder that was one of the loudest things I have ever heard. The entire neighborhood lit up as bright as day – and then it was dark again…
Janet and I, although we only live less than a mile away, thought it was best to head back to our own home in case we had to deal with hail next. It was still raining hard when we arrived back at our own garage. But as soon as we entered our home, it was clear that something was wrong. Many of the lights were out, the phones didn’t work right and there seemed to be a problem with some of the electronics in our home.
I went down to the breaker box and, sure enough, at least three circuits had been tripped off in the storm. I turned them back on and some of our things started to operate again. However, since that time, we have found damage in a number of areas of the house. Our irrigation system was destroyed, several outside outlets were fried, the phone system jacks were affected and our landscape lighting system wouldn’t work properly. It was clear that we had sustained a lightning hit close to the house.
It’s been a little like looking for hidden treasure as we discover things here and there that were impacted. Others in the area also were affected with electrical issues and today I found out that our next door neighbor actually saw the lightning bolt hit. He told me that it just missed our home and that was the loudest noise he had ever heard. The sky lit up and the bolt actually hit the surface of the lake several feet from our back door. No wonder it caused damage in our home – but thankfully, it was a surge and it wasn’t a direct hit. Otherwise, I am sure that everything in our home would have been destroyed.
There’s no question that we are all familiar with lightning and have seen it many times. But to think that we could see and hear the crack from our daughter’s home and then find out that we almost took a direct hit at our home was very scary. The awesome power of lightning is beautiful and deadly dangerous at the same time. And to see it hit so close to our position was something that I think I have only experienced once before in my life. Aside from the brightness of the strike, the intensity of the accompanying thunder was beyond description.
I can’t help but be reminded, when I see things like this, of the awesome power of God. I think that these demonstrations in nature, such as earthquakes, excessive rain and flooding, lightning strikes, hail and tornadoes serve to remind us of the omnipotence of God.
One of the greatest biblical demonstrations of lightning and hail came during the time that Moses was trying to convince Pharoah to let the Israelites leave Egypt. As we all know, Pharoah was unconvinced that he should let the people go and God sent His wrath, in a series of plagues and phenomenon upon the people of Egypt. Tonight’s verse recalls one of these events.
Moses, the author of Exodus, tells us, in Exodus 9:23-24, “When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt; hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.”
We have had some pretty severe storms in the U.S. this spring, but they are nothing compared to what God did through Moses to the people of Egypt. My encouragement is that we serve an incredibly powerful Creator who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. And when we think about the conflict between Satan and God, there is no question about the outcome – our side wins… My prayer is that we will all appreciate the enormity of our God, even though we really don’t have the faintest idea of how awesome He really is. And every once in a while, it is good to get a reminder of how truly of how powerful the Creator is. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…