September 22, 2015lightning

What do you do when lightning strikes? When I was a little boy in Aurora IL, I remember a terrible storm right over top our little house. We had a swing set next to a big old willow tree and the wind blew so hard it knocked part of the tree over and squashed our set. During this same storm, a bolt of lightning struck close to our house and the resounding clap of thunder was so loud it sent me and my brother running so fast from opposite ends of the house we unwittingly ran smack into each other in the kitchen sending us both flying backwards onto our little bottoms and wailing for Mama. She proceeded to tell us the angels were bowling and they just made a strike.

Several years into my pastorate here in Granada, we had six inches of rain in about two hours. It was a late March deluge. Lightning knocked out the early warning system that would let the city know the sewage pond was going to overflow, so the emergency pump did not kick in. This resulted in our church basement receiving tens of thousands of dollars in damages, and a remodeling project which I had not even dreamed of let alone be ready for.

lighning carComing back from my son’s wedding this September, we were driving by Waterloo, Iowa in torrential rainfall. Lightning leapt across the sky and bolts shot from a heavenly cannon were striking all around us. One bolt was so close to the highway, the flash boom was almost instantaneous and the car shook.

We just celebrated a church member’s life at his funeral service. Our sound/video guy was recording the service when right in the middle of the service lightning struck somewhere on the electrical grid and the power fluctuation erased the service and also messed up our computer’s recording capacity. The computer survived and it may be a software problem. A decision has been made to upgrade the system with a new computer. So for those who receive the recorded services, it will be out of business for several weeks to maybe a month till new equipment is acquired.

So what does one do when lightning strikes? Sometimes the unexpected is a good thing. What if you were digging potatoes in your garden and you found a buried treasure? But what if the doctor says  you have cancer, or some fluctuation in the economy knocks out your retirement plans, or your business loses a major client and you end up in bankruptcy, or a beloved friend or relative drops dead unexpectedly – like my brother-in-law’s father this past Monday. What will you do? What will I do?

Hopefully  I/you will trust and praise God and hang onto his coat tails and onto His Word.

Romans 8:31-39

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Love in Christ,

Pastor John