When Lightning Strikes – 6 Valuable Lessons Learned
Chattanooga has worked hard to establish itself as a hub for innovation. That kind of forward thinking is what brought ultra-high speed Internet to these parts. Living in Chattanooga we are blessed to have access to one of the fastest fiber-optic networks in the country. However, when a powerful storm ripped through and lightning hit our house, the speed didn’t matter.
Thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence in the south; most of the time they are happy reminder of God’s immense power, plus they are fun to watch. Tuesday was different. At six on a summer night the sky was dark and purple. It felt more like midnight. The rain poured, hail fell, thunder rumbled and the lightning began. It all seemed typical until that strike – the strike that nearly stopped my heart!
Once the electricity came back on and my heart stopped racing, I discovered that the Internet, phone line, and TV cable had all been zapped. That realization led to a phone call to my fabulous fiber optic provider and much waiting. Apparently I was not alone!
When it comes to work, the Internet and phone are pretty important. As I went about work the following day, I gained a much keener awareness of just how dependent I was on the internet. Even our printers are connected to our network!
Finally, around 3:30 the next day, my Internet, phone line, and cable were repaired. That’s when I learned that the lightning strike had ended the life of my phone and router. Temporarily, until the new router arrived, I had an old fashioned cable connecting me to the source of my precious Internet. The cable is slightly shorter than it should be so it created a handy hurdle running right through the middle of my office. Inconvenient, but I was connected!
Prior to this adventure, I confess I had taken the Internet for granted. I rarely thought about the amazing things it enabled me to do – things like researching, communicating, shopping, engaging in social media, and printing. Even being able to hop on my lap top and return e-mails on a comfy couch in the evenings was impossible without the Internet and router. I was…dependent!
Reflecting on my dependence on the Internet made me ponder the idea of dependence. Merriam-Webster defines it as:
“The state of needing something or someone else for support, help, etc.”
When it comes to needing something or someone, the One I need the most is God. Here are 6 things my dependence on the Internet taught me about my need for God:
1. He is always dependable
Deuteronomy 32:4 says: “The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way he works is fair and just; A God you can depend upon, no exceptions, a straight-arrow God.”
While my Internet is super speedy it is not able to stand up to powerful circumstances like lightning. On the other hand, God is someone I can depend on without exception.
2. I take Him for granted
I rarely think about the Internet. I wake up in the morning and make good use of it all day long without giving it much thought. If I am not careful, my time with God can get just as mindless. I am not sure that dwelling on the Internet serving me as I print something would make that much of a difference in my life. I am certain that being more mindful of God and how He is working through the course of my day would make a difference.
3. My abilities without Him are limited
Without that speedy Internet, what I am able to do is limited without a trip to Starbucks! In the same way, without being connected to God and allowing Him to work through me in my life my ability to work, lead, interact with others, and so much more is seriously limited.
4. He’s always working
The Internet, under normal circumstances, dutifully does its thing. I can’t see it working, but I can enjoy the results.
My connection to God is the same way. He is always working on my behalf. He never stops! It is an expression of His great love for me that I often overlook.
5. I don’t fully understand Him
To be honest, even though I use the Internet a good chunk of every day, I have absolutely no idea how it all works. I just know it does! And before you send me an e-mail explaining it all, I am not even sure I want to know!
My relationship with God is similar. There are myriads of unanswered questions, things I don’t understand about His ways and what He is up to. While I want to get to know Him at a deeper level, I realize I can’t fully understand Him and that’s okay. I know that He is worthy of my dependence. After all, how amazing would a God be that I could fully understand when I can’t even grasp how the Internet works?
Isaiah shared my sentiment when he wrote these words from God: “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. “ (Isaiah 55:9 MSG)
6. I am more effective with Him
The opposite of dependence is independence or self-reliance. My natural tendency is to rely on myself and I frequently slip into that mode. When I am depending on Him, the process is less stressful and the results are better. Why wouldn’t I want to tap into His resources and lean on Him? When I make Him my priority and trust Him fully, opportunities show up that I could have never created myself.
My internet connection is vital to my work. It is difficult for me to get much done without it. Even more important to my work: my dependence on and my connection to God. Without my internet connection yesterday, there was so much I was unable to do. In the same way, attempting to accomplish things without God can be just as frustrating.
God invites us to do some amazing things. He wants to be a part of that process. How aware are you of your dependence on Him? How would a greater awareness of your need for Him change the way you approach your day?