August 25, 2010
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," saith the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8
The London newspapers were filled with the story of the unlucky 13-year-old boy.
Allow me to explain: this particular 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning at 13 minutes after one o'clock in the afternoon. (In military time that's 13 hundred hours.) Amazingly, the lightning incident happened on ... you guessed it ... Friday the 13th.
One editor after another commented on the incredibly luckless lad who had so many 13s in his life.
Now I'm not going to say that getting hit by lightning is a good thing. It isn't.
On the other hand, when I read the story, I thought they've got it all wrong. This boy isn't unlucky, he's incredibly blessed. I mean, think about it. The lad was taken to the hospital and there he was treated for a minor burn.
Did you get that? One burn and it was minor.
Now I've never figured the odds on the survival rate of lightning strikes, and I don't know where I'd look to find it, but I have to believe that anybody who walks away from a direct hit by lightning has to get down on his knees to thank the Lord for His deliverance.
In all probability, that kind of reverse thinking ought to be applied to many situations. Did you ever get a flat tire? How did you react? It was probably one of two ways. Either you got angry because of your bad luck, or you thanked the Lord He stopped you from forging ahead and getting involved in a situation which could have been far worse.
Which of those two paths you take will depend on how you see the Lord. Is He benevolent or malevolent? Personally, having seen Jesus in Scripture, and knowing how much the Lord loves us, I can't think of Him as being the kind of person who is vicious enough to get a thrill out of zapping a 13-year-old with a stored-up bolt of lightning.
No, I have to believe that God was preserving that boy from something. I don't know what, but something -- just like He preserves us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord. all too often we jump to the wrong conclusion and think You have it in for us. Give us the maturity of faith to know that You, who have saved us through the sacrifice of Your Son, will continue to care and watch over us. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries