God of Love & Lightning Strikes

Krista and I were driving home from Las Vegas. As we left the artificial glitz of Vegas in the morning, the clouds and rain ahead were dark and ominous. We were headed into a storm and in for a wild ride. The dry brown scrub of rock and sand, yucca and Joshua Tree contrasted with deep greys and black skies overhead.

After driving for an hour, it started to lightly rain. In the distance we saw flashes of lighting.

“Oohh,” we marveled as God took one picture after another. He does tend to ignore the “No Flash Photography” signs.

Driving deeper into the storm, the skies grew darker and the lightning got closer. The peels of thunder became louder, the concussions like bombs falling from the sky. Soon, fire-hose rain. Then I thought, Ya know, I’ve never seen lightning hit the ground.

I mulled the idea around in my mind for a second. On the tip of my tongue, I was just about to say to Krista, “Hey, what if we saw…”


In a split-second, a thick jagged finger of white lightning hurled down from the sky. We were about five or so miles away from this phosphorescent epicenter, but this blazing bolt struck the ground in an awesome fiery flash of explosive red. I’m sure some poor Joshua Tree was absolutely incinerated. Carbon black incinerated. Think burnt toast.

I lingered over that lightning strike for days…aahh-some! And then some.

In my mind’s eye, I could see God watching us drive our little blue Toyota through the desert. And He’s listening to our conversation. And enjoying the storm, the wind, the rain and of course, the lightning. All the while managing a few gazillion details within His sovereign scope of every universe, including children praying during math tests.

So as we drive into the storm and closer to the lightning, He hears me thinking before the word is even on my tongue. Me thinks and He winks. KABOOM!!!

You see, from my very limited perspective, I believe God is intimately involved in everything. He is not passive, removed, indifferent, or powerless.

God is all-in when it comes to His creation. The same God who instigates lightning strikes is the One who wants to be intimately involved in our lives.

I love the words, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.” (Hebrews 13:8) The same Christ who stilled storms and calmed massive waves is still the same God who hears our prayers, our cries, our groans, and the innermost whispers of our hearts. He’s the same God of lightning strikes and little prayers. So, are you ready for lightning to strike? Where do you need lightning to strike?

How might our lives look if we lived in anticipation of that next lightning strike? That next big move of God that reminds us He really is God. That white hot flash reminder that we can let go of our illusions of control because He really is in control. So, my encouragement to you today, is to pray. Pray for that lightning strike.

You see, God is not some fickle Zeus holding lightning bolts waiting to zap stupid sinners who keep screwing up. No, He is our loving Father, who listens, hears our hearts, and cares enough to send His Son to forgive us our sins, heal our wounds, and who in turn, sends His Holy Spirit to live within us, to comfort us in our afflictions, and to draw us into this dance of the Trinity where lightning strikes all around us and not a single hair on our head is ever, ever singed. That, my friends, is the God of love and lightning strikes.

Questions:  If there is one area of your life you really want to see God light up (in the best sense of the word), what would it be?

If you want to read more about the love of God, you might like “Named by the Father” in my book, The Longing: Embracing the Deepest Truth of Who You Are

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, snarky or off-topic.

  • http://twitter.com/emilysutherland Emily Sutherland

    This is wonderful, Joey.

  • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

    Why thank you Emily for your kind words. I hope you see lightning strike today!

  • Anonymous

    What an amazing story and an amazing experience with God. It is amazing to me when events such as this happen. I know that they are few, but when they do you simply are put in your place and know that God it truly all around us. For me, I would love to have God’s illumination on my own parenting of my eldest as we have many issues with her and discipline issues… it is difficult and puts all of our nerves and emotions on edge at times!

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Thanks Chris…yes, when we see the power of God, we’re all in awe. At the same time, it reminds us that we have full access to His life and power as His sons and daughters. My prayers are with you as you lovingly lead your daughter. Draw on your Father’s strength and love!

  • Brian

    Praying for lightning to strike! Thanks, again, for the encouragement that the God who calmed the seas is the same God who hears my prayers.

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      You’re welcome Brian…glad you were encouraged!

  • Richard Montoya

    I have been enjoying your blog for the past few weeks now. Finally, I have someone who can relate to my longings, desires and the life of faith and creativity. I’m looking forward to which I hope is a long friendship in this struggle and joy of being an artist who follows Jesus. 

    • http://www.joeyo.org/ Joey O’Connor

      Hi Richard,

      I apologize for the delay in responding (I was having trouble with my comment system).

      Thanks so much for your thoughts. You’ve come to the right place as I hope to encourage people like you with their God-given longings and desires as you pursue your life of faith and creativity.

      I look forward to getting to know you better. Please come and share your thoughts again.