Frailty and the God of Thunder

It’s as dark as night this morning. Rain is pounding into my upstairs windows as a candle burns to keep out the shadows. The thunder rolls high above us, but echoes deep down into the midst of my soul with a rumbling intensity I could never recreate. Lightning cracks follow, sheer power cutting across the sky.

“Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like Him[1]?”

Across the state a dear friend’s funeral is being prepared. Friends and family are gathering to say goodbye for now, and one more soul has quitted this earth.

“Ashes, ashes, we fall down. It always feels too soon. But when we walk on golden ground, all will be made new[2].”

All that is keeping the storm from crashing onto my head is a well-made roof, walls of fallible human construction standing defiantly against the outpouring of heaven.

All that is keeping the storm of God’s return from landing on my head is God’s own timing as He waits for His perfect moment.

The thunder will roll with a new voice then. The lightning will bear the Son of God, in wrath and beauty and mercy and power. A human can’t make a sound like thunder. A really good clap of thunder gets into our bones and shakes us, and we stand still in awe. What will it be like when that thunder is a voice? When Jesus comes with His legions of angelic warriors to end sin and the devil and all its curse? One thing is certain.

It will be terrifying.

But for those who are claimed in His name?

It will be glorious.

Every hope fulfilled. Every hole filled. Every longing burnt away in the brightness of His glance. For we will see Him face to face. It is truly an ineffable time to try and picture. Time itself will be banished. We will be “ancient in our youth again[3],” as we stand before our Savior, the one Who was dead and is now alive. The one Who holds the keys to death and hell. The one Who rides on the clouds and a double edged sword sweeps from His mouth. This Jesus is not a weak teacher the world would have us picture. This is a being Who created all else and could wipe it away with a word or gesture if He chose. This Jesus is one the angels acclaim, “Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain[4],” the God Who is constantly, never endingly called, “Holy, holy, holy[5]!” This Jesus comes bearing the sickle to draw in His own and cast out the devil’s minions.

This Jesus is the one Who died for me. It is He Who calls me, “daughter.” It is He who grants my breath.

My six-month old son is asleep on my lap. There are too many articles available nowadays, you can read of so many babies who were healthy one day and gone the next. So many things that might happen. We are incredibly fragile creatures if you look at us that way. But then again, we all started out so fragile, so small, so helpless. Yet we keep breathing. We keep growing, living, changing the world around us in infinitesimal ways and colossal ways as we walk through the years. That breath in your lungs is given to you. It is a gift. And it follows there must be a Giver.

When the thunder rolls with a voice and every creature falls on their face in trembling awe, what will that voice say to you? Will it be, “Depart from me[6]?” Or will it be, “Well done[7]?”

Every moment is a gift. Every breath is an urgent whisper to serve your God while He desires you to be on this earth. For those claimed by Christ, it is a whisper bound up in hope and excitement. We have an opportunity to please our God.

“To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son- it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is[8].”

We can add to the joy of God Himself by doing His will, pleasing Him as a good son or daughter! Don’t squander your time here. Don’t forget the beauty and awe and majesty of Who has given you that time. “Give the love the living’s given for[9].”

The thunder rolls. The rain is still pounding into my windows. My son sleeps on without noticing the storm. I can watch him gently breathing, gently growing even in his sleep. I will live, I will love, I will enjoy[10], and I will worship the God of thunder.

 

 

[1] Job 40:9

[2] J.J. Heller, “Kingdom Come”

[3] Andrew Peterson, “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone”

[4] Revelation 5:12

[5] Isiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8

[6] Luke 13:27

[7] Matthew 25:23

[8] C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory.”

[9] Andrew Peterson, “The Havens Grey.”

[10] “Q. 1. What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” – Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 1.

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