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Faith Filled Friday: Is God in the Thunder?

April 24, 2020

by Connie Terpack

I have always loved to watch a thunderstorm and have never been frightened by them. The bolts of lightning streaking across the sky were fantastic. The booms of thunder sent my younger sisters scurrying to hide under their covers, but I knelt on the sofa so I could watch it out the window. I used to think the thunder might be God clapping in joy or his voice booming out across the earth for all to hear. My mother always pulled me away. I never did ask anyone if God was in the thunder.
The air always seemed cleaner to me after a thunderstorm. I loved to go outside and take in a deep breath of the fresh clean air. Still do even now that I am all grown up.
Recently we’ve have several thunderstorms. The thunder was deep and rolled for a long time. Its deep base notes reverberated in my chest, reminding me of the childhood thunderstorms I always loved.
Science explains lightning as a giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground. The flash of lightning temporarily equalizes the charged regions in the atmosphere until the opposite charges build up again. Lightning is approximately 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That is six times hotter than the surface of the sun!
I was surprised to learn that lightning causes thunder! Energy from a lightning channel heats the air to around 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes the air to rapidly expand, creating a sound wave known as thunder. We see lightning before we hear thunder is because light travels faster than sound!
The most interesting thing I learned while researching this article was that a lightning flash is no more than one inch wide. What we see as a flash of lightning may actually be four different strikes in exactly the same place, one right after another. That’s why lightning appears to flicker.
Lightning can affect us physically. A direct strike might cause the heart to stop beating or the lungs to fail. Indirect strikes can be almost as damaging. Some of the effects are temporary confusion, amnesia, a “pins and needles” sensation, and first and second degree burns. Some type of eye damage is also common, such as a corneal injury or cataracts. Over 50% of lightning victims have ruptured ear drums. Transient hearing loss and tinnitus affect most survivors of lightning strikes.
Originally, I was looking to see if a heavy thunderstorm cleaned the air. I did not find an answer for that, but decided to answer my childhood question: Is God in the thunder?
Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand? Job 26:14
God thundereth marvelously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. Job 37:5
Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Job 40:9
The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings and discomfited them. Psalm 18:13,14
The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Psalm 77:18
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: Revelation 4:5a

Resources:

Lightning – Weather Wiz Kids
http://www.weatherwizkids.com › weather-lightning
Lightning is a bright flash of electricity produced by a thunderstorm. All thunderstorms produce lightning and are very dangerous. If you hear the sound of thunder, …

Link: The Human Effects of Lightning Strikes and Recommendations for Storm Chasers

Severe Weather 101: Lightning Basics
http://www.nssl.noaa.gov › education › svrwx101 › lightning
Lightning is a giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground. In the early stages of development, air acts as an insulator between the positive and negative charges in the cloud and between the cloud and the ground.

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