The Letter Z #7: When Lightning Strikes (or, The Power of Almost)

We don't live on a mountain quite as epic as the one in the photo, but we do live at a high point in the midcoast Maine countryside. And sometime in August, lightning struck.

[et_bloom_locked optin_id="optin_4"] I wasn't born yesterday, so obviously I've seen and heard lightning before, and been in some pretty epic storms. But this was different. The lightning was constant, and it was close. I was teaching the kids the whole counting thing - "Each second from lightning to thunderclap is one mile!" - without any real consideration for its scientific accuracy. But, regardless of science, there weren't many seconds.

The power flickered a few times with the thunder and that's to be expected. The power can go out pretty easily in the Maine country. But then came by far the loudest CLAP that I had ever heard. The house thumped and shook and crackled and popped. Power out for at least 30 seconds. And then back on. 

We sat for several minutes more, awestruck at the strike that was definitely too close for comfort.

Things quickly returned to normal and I realized that the Internet wasn't working. Went upstairs to find that the DSL modem (yep, it's DSL out here) was fried. Completely. Plugged into a surge protector and everything, but the strike was just too intense and it blew the insides up.

Here's the thing: I really need the Internet in order to do my work, and there were all these pressing projects, and I started to freak out a little. Yeah, there's always traveling to town to find Internet somewhere, but it's super inconvenient. And those pressing projects were so pressing because I was facing a pretty big career crossroads and everything needed to be just so in order to proceed with the path I had chosen.

Without getting into details, the loss of Internet was a HUGE issue. I scrambled the next day to get it fixed, but no dice. I searched high and low for a place nearby to work, and came up empty. Everything seemed like it was coming to a head and this big crossroads was now looking like a dead end. It's strange, but I felt like something bigger was happening here - something forcing me to change course and take a completely different turn with the career question. I talked to my wife and she felt the exact same thing.

Together, we decided to go another way - a less safe and less rational way, but the way that seemed to us like the will of God.

When I got home, I looked in the front yard and realized exactly where the lightning had struck. A bushy tree next to some of our blueberries was bent over. Underneath the canopy, it was split down the middle of the main stem, almost in two. The tree is only a few yards away from the living room where we were sitting that day.

Weirdly, this has been the most faith-building thing to happen to us in quite some time - not because we rely completely on receiving epic signs from God through inclement weather, but because we were nearly forced into this career decision, quite literally, by a lightning strike. How much clearer can it get?! And the events that have followed that decision have confirmed that it was indeed the will of God. New open doors, provision in just the right ways at just the right moments. There's just no denying it.

Here's what I'm thinking - in the walk of faith there is the opportunity to experience the power of almost. We almost went another way, but God intervened. He will do that if we are open to it. (He may do that even if we aren't open to it.) But let that encourage us that no matter where we are at, and no matter how bleak or bland the road ahead might seem, there is always the possibility that lightning will strike - directing us more deeply into the will of God and a flourishing life. [/et_bloom_locked]

The LettersZach HoagFaith