In Sampson County we have seen severe weather events. On Saturday, October, 08, 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit land in Sampson County. My brother Earl mentioned that in his lifetime he had “never” seen so much rain standing in the fields. Normally, I receive a weather alert on my cell phone pertaining to severe weather. On Monday evening/night, there was absolutely no warning at all of the severe weather that was approaching. Monday night, May 29 around 10:45, I had laid down and I could hear it thundering and lightning. I remember growing up and so many times in my later years in life, my Mother would always inform me not to be near a window when it was lightning. So, I moved to the foot of my bed. All of a sudden I heard the wind blowing extremely strong. I prayed and asked God to keep me safe as well as my family and friends, that my life was in His hands. I went to sleep and my brother woke me up the next morning at 8 a.m. knocking on my window to make sure that I was okay. I had slept during the storm and God had blessed us to see another day and breathe another breath. Earl mentioned that he had “never” experienced seeing such strong lightning. Ecclesiastes 7:14; “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” God allows both good times and bad times to come to everyone. He blends them into our lives in such a way that we can’t predict the future or count on human wisdom and power. We usually give ourselves the credit for the good times. Then in bad times, we tend to blame God without thanking Him for the good that comes out of it. When life appears certain and controllable, don’t let self-satisfaction or complacency make you too comfortable, or God may allow bad times to drive you back to Him. When life seems uncertain and uncontrollable, don’t despair — God is in control and will bring good results out of your struggles.
On Friday, June 06, 2017, I had left home and was enroute to Walmart. The sun was shining brightly, but by the time I had parked, the clouds formed, and it began to rain and the lightning was very intense. The temperature on this day was hot, humid and just muggy. I thought of Job 37:17 as I sat in my automobile sweating from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. Job 37:17; “All you know is that you sweat, your clothes stick to you.” I also thought of Job 37:1; “The thunder and lightning frighten me; my heart pounds in my chest.” I sat in my automobile and observed people as they went in and out of the store, just going about the business of their life and not having any respect for the Lord’s work. I stayed in my automobile until I could see absolutely no more lightning. About 5 minutes after I had walked into Walmart, I heard thunder very loudly and lightning popping, and as I stood still, I held my ears and said, “Lord Jesus have mercy!” I walked to the area of the store in Walmart where the pillows were, because I did not want to be anywhere near anything electrical, or close to a mirror. My Mother had informed me that when she was young, she was visiting a family and she and the young girl were in the bedroom playing during a storm. The lightning was intense and the young girl was playing with her hair and combing it while looking in a mirror on the top of the dresser drawers. The lightning struck the young girl and killed her. Well, I stayed in Walmart until the storm was completely over and I could not see any lightning flashing. Education is very important. We should educate ourselves with God’s Word. We should have fear of lightning because this will keep us from danger. I appreciate the lesson I learned from my Mother that with wisdom, I would fear the Lord during the storms. I listened to her and took always took her advice. Proverbs 4:13; “Always remember what you have learned. Your education is your life — guard it well.”
A direct lighting strike and ground current occurs to victims in open areas. Lightning strikes can create enduring lifelong discomfort because they cause nerve damage that makes nerves misfire, which the brain reads as pain. According to safety experts. To measure the distance of lightning, count the seconds between flash and thunder and divide by five; the number is how many miles the lightning is from you. During thunderstorms, lightning can strike up to 10 miles away. That distance is when you can just begin to hear thunder, which is why safety experts urge us to go inside as soon as we hear a distant rumble. Many victims have been either heading to safety at the time of the fatal strike or were just steps away from safety. When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter. Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that puts you in direct contact with electricity. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches.
Proverbs 1:7 informs us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” One of the most annoying types of people is a know-it-all, a person who has a dogmatic opinion about everything, resents discipline, and refuses to learn. Solomon call this person a fool. Don’t be a know-it-all, instead, be open to the advice of others, especially those who know you well and can give valuable insight and counsel. Learn how to learn from others. Remember, only God knows it all. In this age of information, knowledge is plentiful, but wisdom is scarce. Wisdom means far more than simply knowing a lot. It is a basic attitude that affects every aspect of life. The foundation of knowledge is to fear the Lord — to honor and respect God, to live in awe of His power, and to obey His Word. Faith in God should be the controlling principle for your understanding of the world, your attitudes, and your actions. Trust in God — He will make you truly wise.
Fear in Proverbs 1:7 is best understood as reverent obedience expressed in a submissive spirit rather than as terrifying dread. “fear of the Lord” is the beginning point of becoming a person of wisdom. A “fool’ is morally rather than intellectually defective. “Fear of the Lord” is the foundation for wisdom, the prerequisite for obedience, and the accompaniment of love (Deuteronomy 10:12). Fearing the Lord and loving Him are not antithetical but inseparable responses. “Fear in this sense indicates submissive reverence and not stalk terror. To reject this awe, which inspires respectful obedience, is to determine to go your own way and turn away from God’s way. The promised results of fearing Him are goodness, riches, honor and satisfaction (Psalm 31: 19), long life (Deuteronomy 6:2), mercy (Psalm 103:17), strong confidence (Proverbs 14:26), and God’s constant attention (Psalm 34:7). When we choose to align our hearts with God’s truth, we will find favor and good repute in God’s sight, and we will have protection with the Father.
So many people are killed from a lightning strike. They are around water, walking a dog, or they are outside during an electrical storm. Take caution and fear the Lord and you will be granted the wisdom needed. Ecclesiastes 7:12; “Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life!”
Milley Brewington is a guest columnist for The Sampson Independent.