Lightning, Sand, and Faults

 

You say I do not seem to be upset when I am reproved for a fault. My reply is simple: I view my faults as though they were smears which my Father easily wipes away. Do not think I am blind to my faults. Living in the light of His truth is so precise and penetrating that it reveals the slightest fault. Those who are living in the natural life have faults, but nothing is being done to change them. Those who are being transformed by God have faults—faults that are like writing in the sand during a windstorm.” Jeanne Guyon

Here in Colorado we have powerful lightning storms. Dark clouds gather over the mountains and march east.

 

One storm stands out in my memory.

Pride and Awe

I spent the evening forcefully telling God how to fix the hurtful people in my life. I thought it would be OK if in the process he also made my life a bit easier. God had not made any promises about doing as I asked. This was annoying. I sat near windows that gave me a wide view over an open space. It was evening. I didn’t notice when the stars went out. A lightning bolt split the sky. At the same moment thunder nearly split my eardrums. That bolt of lightning was the first of hundreds. Anger and self-pity fled. Awe slid into the space they vacated in my soul. Each bolt of lightning was unique. Some spread out and lit up the whole sky like a web. Others stuck nearly straight down, cracks in the universe. Sometimes a bolt of lightning took the stage alone. Other times there were several danced at once. None of them lingered. Before I could full absorb what I saw, it was gone.

When the storm finally moved to the east, its powerful noise fading into distant rumbles, I realized God taught me something. In that first rattle of thunder he said, “Do I get a turn to speak? Will you listen for a few minutes?” I think he might have been laughing at just how high I jumped when he startled me with that bolt out of the black.

multiple-bolts-of-lightning-wallpaper

The terrifying power of lightning reminded me that I am small and weak. God is big and powerful. That doesn’t sound like a profound thought, I know. The thing is, I slip into pride so easily. Sometimes it is the pride that says in effect, “I know the difference between good and evil better than God does. I will tell him how he should be running my life, and how he and the people who are hurting me should shape up.” It is an ancient form of pride that began with Eve’s first bite of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The truth is, I am not qualified to give God counsel about anything, not even about the right way to fix my life.

Humility Precedes Hope

Humility precedes hope, because God is both powerful and good. When I get a glimpse of God, I can’t help seeing my faults. It’s funny. I can see everyone else’s faults quite clearly but I can only see myself clearly when I take a long look at God. Then I see myself undistorted by either pride or self-hatred (which is really only pride dressed in rags). There is something freeing about seeing my faults and confessing them. It feels like I have been struggling along against hurricane force winds, carrying a bag of sand. When I see who God is and who I am, I drop the sand and hold on to God’s grace instead. I don’t hang around to see what happens to my bag of sand. I am quite sure God just opens it up and lets it gradually blow away.

This is part 3 of a short series about lamenting based on Lamentations 3. Click here for part 1Eye of the Hurricane” . Click here for part 2 “3 Strong Women Speak about Silence.”

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One Response to Lightning, Sand, and Faults

  1. Lanae Klao March 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    I have really enjoyed reading these. Can’t wait for more!!

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