God Captures Our Attention to Offer Hope

Sometimes God captures our attention and reveals His mighty power, the compelling evidence of who He is. September 29th reminds me of a time when God gained the attention of hundreds of people.

So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor. Job 37:7

God Captures Our Attention through His Glory

As I left my children at school and headed toward home, the rugged face of the mountain peak towering over the city stood shrouded in darkened clouds. Suddenly, the clouds broke and the sun streamed through with such blinding light that I pulled onto the shoulder and reached for my sunglasses–then paused to gaze up at the glorious sight. In wonder, I glimpsed the silvery tops of the brilliant, white clouds, an opening to heaven. I shiver, as I recall the certainty that God was preparing me for something. I prayed to face whatever came in a way that honored Him.

God Captures Our Attention in the Unexpected

Later, I sat beside the lawn at the school, chatting with other moms as our children played in a shower of golden leaves. When we reached home, my husband’s car sat in the garage. “Dad took my suggestion!” I cheered. “He came home early to do something fun!”

God Captures Our Attention to Offer Hope

However, one look at his face plummeted my heart to the pit of my stomach. I followed him to the bedroom with trepidation. The kids came running when I screamed. While fishing on the Quality Waters of the San Juan River, my father was struck by lightning and killed.

My world stopped.

God Captures Our Attention so That We May Know Him Better

Over the next few days, God’s control became clear. We didn’t understand, but a sense of wonder grew within us. Even non-believers who visited expressed certainly that my dad went to heaven in an amazing way. Over 1500 people crowded our church for the funeral. The local Christian book store noted an increase in Bible sales to people who knew my dad. The man who pulled him from the river said his face bore a look of awe.

A friend shared Job 36:32: “He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.” That scripture carved a place in my heart. Over the next few months, I read every scripture about lightning, until I came to understand God’s exclusive control of that marvelous entity. The death of a godly man made people stop and pay attention.

God Offers Hope for the Future

Lyle's Rock, San Juan River

Twenty-five years have passed since my dad’s homegoing. Forces beyond man’s control have caused the world’s population to pause. Hundreds of thousands have died from COVID and met the consequence of their choice to accept or reject the God of the universe. Civil unrest, political battles, financial loss, forest fires, floods, and storms batter us without mercy.

Just as my family was shaken by the death of my father at age 65, our world is shaken. We gained a deeper sense of God’s power and sovereignty. The current turmoil in our world creates fear. However, we have hope because nothing is beyond God’s control. The majesty of God’s statements about Himself in Job 40-42 caused Job to say, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

And when we seek to understand, we recognize the God of all hope, who enables us to speak truth to those around us. We live in confidence that our loving God’s design for the year 2020 is to cause all people to seek Him.

Will you?

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. Job 37:5

© Norma Gail Holtman, September 14, 2020

Norma Gail

Norma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit, exploring the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. Her debut novel won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, Norma is a former Bible Study Fellowship discussion leader, and founding leader of the women’s Bible studies at her church. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children.

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