“His lightnings light the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” Psalm 97:4-5

Afraid of Lightning?

 As a child I was petrified of thunder and lightning. Once, when I was in elementary school, a severe thunderstorm came through during the school day. My mother, knowing how terrified I would be, drove to the school to check on me.

Now, I see these storms as beautiful and amazing. But still, to this day, a close strike will set my nerves on edge as the windows and house shake from the boom. In my class, it is common to have children afraid of thunderstorms. I teach them the science of it, and try to allay their fears. But today, I remind myself of why thunderstorms should make me tremble.

Why was I so afraid as a child? Because of the uncontrollable, unpredictable, awesome, sheer power!

Job 26:14 ESV says, ”Behold, these are but the outskirts of His ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”

If one peal of thunder can shake my entire house—if one bolt of lightning can set an entire forest ablaze or drop me dead in my tracks—then imagine the power of the God from Whom it comes. Thunderstorms are a natural way God reveals His power to the world (Romans 1:20), and we rightly shake with fear.

We live in an age of justification and relativity. A counselor recently told me that many Christians she meets believe that they only need to obey part of the Bible. It is a deception in which we start to minimize God, His Word, and His authority. We think God isn’t active or concerned with our daily lives, and we doubt His power to change and save. We begin to think it doesn’t matter if we only obey some of His Word. These thoughts set us up as “gods” of our lives and are as foolish as choosing to go stand under a tree in a lightning storm and hoping we don’t get struck.

Don’t minimize the God whose hands are covered in lightning (Job 36:32) and from whose throne flashes lightning and thunder (Revelation 4:5).

Proverbs 9:10 says, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear of the Lord means respect, awe, submission, amazement, reverence. The opposite would read: “Disrespect of the Lord is the beginning of death.”

Next time you’re in a thunderstorm, marvel at the power of the One from Whom it comes. Ask yourself: Do I take this powerful God seriously, or have I begun to minimize Him? Do I obey His commands? Or do I pick and choose? Maybe we shouldn’t be afraid of lightning—but we should fear the Lord.

“Lord, we only see the outskirts of Your power. God, forgive us for minimizing You in our lives. Help me to obey all Your commands, and teach me to fear Your name. In Jesus Name, Amen.”