Thunder and Lightning

The thunder I’ve been hearing is the sound of old, heavy theater seats tossed into a large construction bin late at night. The lightning is just the blinking of a worn out street light, coughing up spasms of past brilliance. 

You could think there’s no such thing as Thunder or Lightning – if you’d never been shaken by Thunder’s Deep Voice, or startled by Lightning’s penetrating flash. The immediate, heart-stopping crash feels as if some mighty celestial oak has just fallen. But I’ve heard Thunder and chased Lightning. Their incomparable voices are etched in my psyche. 

But what if someone has never heard – or seen – or been struck by the awe of a raw encounter? How could I convey what they’re missing? Any attempt at mimicking the sound of Thunder, or Lightning, would be a kind of blasphemy. Perhaps I could play a recording. Yes, that could make them believers. But no sound system in the world can convey the inimitable reality. They must experience it for themselves. Somehow I’ve got to bring them to the Encounter – or the Encounter to them.

Lord, I’ve been shaken by Your, Deepest-of-All Voice and awakened by the Flashing Insights of Your Spirit. They’ve left indelible inscriptions on my psyche, my soul. You have never been a subject of debate – for me. 

But others have not. How can I make You known to them? My mimicry could convince them that I believe. Your Words through my lips might engender faith. But without an Encounter, Your In-counter, they could slowly sink into passive acquiescence. 

They need You. We need You. I need You. Only You can make a believer out of those who ‘believe’.

Please, Lord,  put Your Thunder in our voices and Your Lightning in our touch. Or, better yet, revive us. Re-open our eyes, re-ignite our trust, re-infuse us with the unshakeable certainty that Your Thunder is in Your Word and Your Spirit is ready to strike in an instant – in this instant.

Help us to know that Your Voice silently thunders when we speak of You and that Your Spirit flashes when we touch others – and pray for them.

That Your Power is perfected in our weakness when it’s offered to You.

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters.  4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.  5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon.  6 He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.  7 The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire.  8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.  9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”  10 The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, And the Lord sits as King forever.  11 The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

Psalm 29:3-11


About pastorjbc

I am extremely happily married to Laura - my best friend, lover and ministry partner of over 42 years (504 months). She is an awesome lady and the mother of our 8 children - Micah, Josh, Johnny, Chris, Grace, Joe, Anna and Tim. We (really Laura) home schooled our kids for 20 years. Currently we have 10 grandkids. The Lord has blessed our tribe with an abundance of creativity which our kids express in music, writing, graphics, media and other ways. After Pastoring Calvary Chapel of Sacramento, CA for 26 years, I joined the Pastoral Staff of Calvary Chapel Salt Lake City in 2006 and now I'm with Poimen Ministries (

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