Judah invokes images of thunder and lightening to vivify the Lord's power to enlighten our minds when dark clouds surround us. Spiritual storms are inevitable. Can we use them to our advantage? -Editor.
How do you survive when you're in the grip of resentment or mired in gloomy doubts that your life will ever be worthwhile? What if you could experience a new reality crashing over you—not a cold, dark reality of things falling apart, but a vibrant realization of goodness, hope and love? I'd like to offer a metaphor for those sudden, profound insights that wake us up mentally and keep us going even in the darkest times: lightning and thunder. Experienced by everyone, these startling phenomena of nature also show up as stirring symbols in the Word, where they embody the dramatic entry of the Lord's influence into our daily thoughts. In explaining thunder and lightning as they appear in Revelation, Swedenborg writes,
Because of the flash of light that strikes the eyes, lightnings symbolize enlightenment, and because of the crash that strikes the ears, thunderings symbolize perception. And since these two together symbolize enlightenment and perception, voices then symbolize instruction. (Apocalypse Revealed §236)Enlightenment—that glimpse of heavenly life that goes far beyond mere factoids about religion. Perception—that almost tangible grasp of spiritual things, a mental imprint of an objective reality out there beyond your own four walls of your mind.