Waiting

This morning I sat by the window and stared at a dark pewter sky, praying for a display of God’s power and glory. We don’t often get thunder and lightning in the Bay Area, which is a shame because it’s my favorite kind of adrenaline rush. Some people like roller coasters; others enjoy haunted houses. I love the brilliant lash of white-hot branches forking across the sky and the crack of thunder so mighty you can feel it resonate down through your bones. It terrifies me, and I love it.

To me, there is no greater visual representation that comes close to showing God’s might. Most often we focus on God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness. All important things. But we forget that He is a God of strength and wrath. We forget to be reverent. That is why I love watching the lightning and trembling when the thunder booms; it reminds me to respect the awesome power of God.

Today, though, watching the lightning taught me something else: waiting on Him. At the first hint of the storm, I hurried into the room with the best view of open sky, and prayed God would show me His glory. “Just one streak,” I asked. There was a flash of refracted light from somewhere above, but out of sight. And I waited, knowing/hoping it would come closer.

I’d left my phone in another room, and I could hear the text messages coming through, but I dared not leave my spot to go get it, afraid I would miss even one display. It struck me then how this waiting, this faith, is how we should wait on God to act in our lives. I saw the evidence of the lightning; I knew it was out there. But I wanted to see it. And so I waited. Maybe God could have given me the one flash I wanted and then I could have gone about my day, but that would cheapen His power and might, for He is not a genie waiting around to light some fireworks for my convenience. He waits for the world to repent and come to Him; surely I can exercise even a fraction of such patience.

I prayed to see just one fork of lightning, to bask in just one flash and rumble of thunder. But of course, after I got my one, I wanted another, and another. And so I stayed where I was, raptly watching and waiting to drink in the magnificence of my God. I must have sat by that window for an hour. But when it was over, I finally left knowing that I had tasted and seen. I was satisfied, and yet yearned for more.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Psalm 34:8

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