You may have heard last week that the Pope announced he will resign in a few weeks.
This is big news because he will be the first Pope to resign in 600 years.
The Pope announced his resignation a week ago Monday.
The very same day, lightening struck the Vatican (see picture).
Many saw this as a sign, though whether it was a good or bad sign is open to interpretation.
Golfing great Lee Trevino who was once struck by lightening during a PGA tour event said afterwards that from then on if there was lightening in the vicinity he would walk down the fairway holding a one iron above his head “because even God can’t hit a one iron!” If you are not a golfer you probably don’t get that joke, but trust me it’s funny.
I believe in the sovereignty of God. I even read Arthur Pink’s book, The Sovereignty of God. But I don’t know what to make of this lightening strike on the Vatican. It all seems a bit ambiguous.
Now the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., that was clear and unambiguous. Jesus warned the Jews their city would be destroyed within a generation because they had rejected Him. (Matt. 24:1, 34; Luke 19:33-34). Forty years later, the Romans destroyed the city, took most of its inhabitants off into slavery and left the city desolate. That I get. But a lightening strike? I’m not so sure.
Maybe the lightening strike was a sign of God’s pleasure in the Pope’s resignation, an affirmation the Pope was doing the right thing. Apparently there was no damage to the Vatican or the Popemobile. But I can’t find precedent for a lightening strike being a sign of God’s blessing. I’m told lightening strikes airplanes all the time and the airline industry is in terrible shape these days. So, I’m not seeing the blessing angle.
Maybe it was just a coincidence. But then again G.K. Chesterton said “coincidences are spiritual puns.” Chesterton was Catholic, a brilliant guy and one of my favorite writers. Maybe he was right.
See, I’ve decided that since God is sovereign, given the circumstances it is hard to dismiss the lightening strike as pure chance. At the same time, it is too ambiguous to say it is the sign of God’s affirmation or displeasure. I believe it was just the Lord saying, “I’m still here and I’m still in charge.” GS