Five years ago yesterday I was struck by lightning. It is a crazy story that from the vantage point of increasing time and distance seems almost like make-believe (you can read a little about the immediate aftermath here and here). If it was surreal then, it is more so now. But there are reminders that come—sometimes in waves, but more often in isolated, unanticipated experiences.
We don’t talk about that night very much in our family but every year as July 15 approaches it inevitably comes to mind. Last night, my family completely surprised me by arranging for us all to share a meal together at one of my favorite restaurants, as they put it, “to celebrate you being alive!” It was great fun.
I have learned a great deal more about lightning strikes in the wake of my own encounter. One thing that is slowly changing but still remains true is that there is very little research on lightning strike survival. Most people—around 90%—actually do survive a strike. Nearly all survivors suffer lingering, and in most cases, lifelong effects. The effects that live on with me are miniscule in comparison with what many others experience. That, as well as every other detail of the whole ordeal, is due to the grace of God.
I had fully intended to let another anniversary of that severe mercy come and go without any public comment and even much private conversation until I read my daughter, Sarah’s, blog post this morning. I was move again with reminders of the kindness and grace of God in my life. No man has ever had God’s love manifested through his family more than I. It amazes me in fresh ways on a regular basis. Praise belongs to Him because the work is His alone.
If you want a glimpse of how the Lord has used an unusual trial in the life of a precious young adult who is growing in the grace of Christ more and more, read Sarah’s blog. I was deeply moved and humbled by her words. And I learned things that I had not known about that strange night five years ago and its aftermath in my family.
The Lord is good in all His ways and He is worthy of praise and trust because of what He has done for us in giving up His Son, the Lord Jesus, for us. Romans 8:32 is a promise that is chock full of the logic of the cross, and I am reminded of it again this morning, with renewed gratitude to our great God.
If you’d never been struck by lightning, Daddy, I think my life would be different today.