My heart pounds as I think of this. It trembles within me. Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice as it rolls from his mouth. It rolls across the heavens, and his lightning flashes in every direction. Then comes the roaring of the thunder— the tremendous voice of his majesty. He does not restrain it when he speaks. God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power. (Job 37:1-5)
Relate: Istanbul doesn’t get truly great storms. I can’t say that as a universal truth, they do occasionally happen but not nearly with the frequency of New York. While I would take winters here over winters back there in a heartbeat, I do miss the near weekly summertime storms that rattle the windowpanes, set off car alarms, and rip all the dead branches off the trees. We did have one almost two weeks back now and even though it was only about 3AM in the morning, I rolled out of bed and out on to my balcony to watch it. I miss being able to go up to the lake when I was in Oswego to watch storms miles away play out on the water. I miss my junior high and high school days when I would climb up on to the top of our family van and let the rain beat down on my arms and legs and face. Even the best Istanbul had to offer this year barely would qualify as average there.
There was one time back in high school when from the top of that van I heard my mom calling to me from the front door. “Brian Jaimeeeee, Get off the van and get inside the neighbors are calling!” God bless my neighbors. They really did care. It just… concerned them that a high school kid would be laying down on top of a car in the middle of a thunder storm that was close enough for every roar to rattle the windows. They must figure it probably isn’t safe up there. They just don’t understand that the only better view of the storm would have been the roof. The problem is, once a big downpour like this starts, it is quite difficult to get up there. It is not impossible, just time consuming, and that is time in which I am missing out on the beauty and majesty of the storm. These things don’t last forever.
React: When I read Elihu’s description of the power and awesomeness of our God, I have to think that he was a storm lover as well. His word picture puts a smile on my face and sends a chill down my spine. He gets it. Like he says, “My heart pounds as I think of this. It trembles within me.” Think about it, if a storm is predicted to drop an inch of rain, then that storm is dumping over seventeen million gallons of water on every square mile it covers. When lightning strikes, it does so at the speed of 224,000 miles an hour and packs an electrical punch strong enough to keep my bedside lamp shining for half a year. Not only that, the average storm will kick out more than ten thousand such punches. I love storms in all of their majesty and glory, but I have a healthy respect, or fear, for them as well. I might go outside to enjoy it, but I’m not going to be carrying around a ten foot lightning rod while I do so.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear the writer of Proverbs and the fear Elihu describes is a holy respect. It is a reverence. God is dangerous. Following Him is life wrecking. His power, like that of a thunderstorm, is something to respect and fear. Even as we pour out our love for Him, if the thought of His majesty does not set our heart racing, then our understanding of Him is far too small.
You are glorious. You are majestic. You are awesome. That word is used so frequently, so flippantly, for so many things, but it truly does belong to You. You inspire awe, reverence, and fear. Forgive me for taking Your presence in my life for granted. Forgive me for having far too small a view of just how powerful You truly are. It cannot be helped. As great as I can imagine, You are greater. Let my life, words, and actions give back to You just a little of the majesty and glory You deserve.