The past couple of days have been filled with thunder, and with the summer heat and humidity building in, there's a chance of storms every day for the foreseeable future. I've got to be honest - I love thunder.
Not a fan of lightning.
I know you can't have one without the other. Thunder is the result of changes lightning causes in the surrounding air mass thus producing the tremorous boom we all know and love or more lovable, that low gentle rumble like the whole universe is purring at you. And how cool it was yesterday to sit out on my front porch with my 2-year-old nephew, who was standing in the rain and declaring, "Did you hear that funder???" with the biggest smile on my face. We graduated to, "Funder is cool." Trying to train the boy right, you know.
But as I laid awake a couple of nights ago listening to the thunder rumble through the overnight hours, I got to thinking more about the process of thunder. More specifically, the creation of thunder.
It's a concept I sort of hit on last month after the devastating tornadoes, when I found myself in awe of the unseen God and how He created all these things - like wind - that we're never supposed to see but they are there anyway and how extravagant and how glorious.
Thunder is kind of in the same vein for me. It's extravagant.
Because God created the storm, or at the very least created the elements of the storm that would react in chaos and create thunder and lightning. (It depends on how you view God, I guess. There is a verse I came across recently, which puts it either in Psalms or Proverbs, about God holding the lightning in His hand, and you get this impression that God's just got a quiver full of lightning to throw down as He ordains the storms.) And in the storm, there is lightning and there is thunder.
Do you realize, I mean, have you really considered, what has to happen to create thunder? There has to be a boundary, a limitation, a certain set of characteristics that define the very atmosphere in order for the storm to breed thunder, in order for the lightning to cause this reaction. God created a limitation that He was already set up to break.
Doesn't that strike you as awesome and incredible? It does me.
I don't know what else would have had to change, what other factors and what other life would be at play, for the air to be different. For God to have created the storm cloud not to interact with the lightning, for the bolt of brilliant, fierce fire to not expand the air mass and cause the shift in pressure and temperature and so forth that becomes thunder. If the air couldn't thunder, I don't know that we could breathe it. My science doesn't go that far.
But my faith does. My faith says it has to be this way, that for everything on the earth to live and breathe, for the climate to be hospitable, for the air to be well, lightning has to create thunder. And I don't think that's a problem.
On the contrary, I think it's awesome. I think it's awesome of our God to create a limitation that He knew He was going to break over and over and over again in one of the most powerful, breathtaking, refreshing, peaceful, incredible ways possible - the thunderstorm. I think it's awesome that God created the danger of lightning - an excess of electricity, fire rained down - to make the earth tremble and roar, to give off that low rumble that makes us notice the heavens. Lightning can hurt you; thunder can't. God uses the one to create the other. That's awesome.
It speaks truth into our lives, too, doesn't it? We are full of limitations, at least I am. There are things I cannot do, things that are beyond my strength, beyond my abilities. Honestly, things that are beyond my creation. I was built for a certain life, and some things are inhospitable to that. That's just how it is. And there are threats out there to my stability, obstacles hungry for my limitations. There are dangerous things out there that could destroy me, terrifying, disturbing, dangerous things. I'm not a fan of coming against them.
Yet by His wisdom, God has created a way that these dangerous things make my life tremble and roar, make my life give off this low rumble that makes me notice the heavens. I can't help but notice them. I can't help but realize how unhurt I am because God has built into my limitations this grace, that my boundaries can be broken, my barriers can be breached, my stability can be tossed and somehow, all I do is generate more glory for Him in that. Lightning strikes, and my life roars.
And I think that's pretty awesome and incredible. Don't you?