Lightning Reminders

It’s almost Christmas, and while in North America winter is coming, here at the equator it’s a different story. It’s the start of West Wind Season, which means we see an uptick in windy, stormy weather.

Last night it stormed. One of those delicious thunderstorms that comes on the heels of an oppressively hot day. The wind blew, lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, and the heavens opened and poured buckets.

Storm brewing, and covering Mount Cyclops.

I had to drive Grace over to her school for something in the middle of the storm, and on our way we got an incredible view of the lightning display. Mount Cyclops looms up above our neighborhood and of course at night we can’t see it, even though it’s always there. But with each flash of lightning, the mountain was eerily illuminated in the brightness of the bolt for a split second.

I was struck with the thought that sometimes this is how I experience God. I know that, like the mountain, He is always there, even during dark times when I can’t see Him.

And then something happens—that bright flash of lightning—and I glimpse Him—and it takes my breath away. He is that mountain, awesome and huge and ever-present. Maybe the flash of lightning that illuminates Him is a word from a friend, or a beautiful bird that perches on a branch in front of me for an instant. Maybe it’s a verse I’ve read a hundred times before but strikes me in a new way.

Majestic Mount Cyclops.

As someone who identifies deeply with the father in Mark 9:24 who cried to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” these lightning flashes of God strengthen my faith that sometimes feels weak and small. And at a time of year that feels “stormy”—being far from family and dealing with cultural stress—I recognize the need to pause and watch for the lightning flashes that remind me, He is here.

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