On my way in to work last week, God gave me the privilege of driving along the northern edge of a slow-moving Kansas thunderstorm. It was just far enough away for me to avoid the wind, rain and lightning, and just close enough to observe all of its beauty, from top to bottom. Storms on the American Great Plains are different than they are anywhere else in the country. When the conditions are right, you can see from the ground up to the “the anvil,” where the jet stream shears off the top of the clouds and allows the storms to become even stronger.
This one was a beauty. As I headed toward it, the high white puffy clouds became progressively darker and more ominous. Lightning flashed repeatedly in its channel for a second, before disappearing into a wisp. On one side of the storm, a curtain of torrential rain obscured everything behind it. On the other, clear air revealed birds fleeing the oncoming rain.
Everything was just perfect.
The beauty of a storm must be viewed in light of its power. If you live in this part of the country, you know people who have lost property and even their lives from the effects of a single thunderstorm. Which reminds me of a line from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, where Mr. Beaver is explaining something to Susan Pevensie about Aslan the Lion, who is a picture of Jesus Christ in that story:
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Thankfully, through King Solomon, God has provided wisdom on the right approach to Jesus’ holy power (after all, He holds the keys to heaven and to hell): “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). And it occurs to me that this advice can be applied to so much of God’s creation in the world around us, beautiful and dangerous at the same time.
Respect its power, whether it’s the Rocky Mountains, or a black widow spider.
Stand in awe of its intricate design, down to the last detail, whether massive or impossibly tiny.
And praise the Creator for the glory and majesty of his creation – just a tiny example of His infinite creativity and power.
And that Thursday morning Kansas thunderstorm? No, it wasn’t safe – but it was good.
AN ASIDE TO MY FELLOW WRITERS:
This is the second time I’ve written this post. The first time, it was accidentally deleted from my computer and wasn’t recoverable. I thought it was gone forever, and I didn’t plan to resurrect it. However, when my pastor’s sermon used the very passage from Proverbs 1 that I discussed in this post, I felt that God must want me to get this post out. So here it is.
The point of this little aside (also in my pastor’s sermon): In the words of Winston Churchill, never give up.