John says: “I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”
Have you ever been reading and something struck your curiosity? I wonder what that means. Then you do like I do and google it, or ask your phone “MaxiMoto, what does it mean to hear thunder in the desert?”
If you live in one place for a while you get to know the weather patterns and the signals. In the desert, there are thunderstorms at certain times of the year, just like anywhere. The descriptions and the signals are different than most places, but there are similarities of course. There is lightning then seconds later there is a startling crack of thunder. Recently, I read an article describing the storms in a particular place in the desert. The storm occurred in the same place each day. It didn’t move from its spot and was predictable. The big build up was the thunder and the loud crack. When you live in a place for a while you know the signs around you. When you are familiar with the weather patterns you can predict, and prepare.
How many times in your life have you had an epiphany? You know, an Aha moment when the light bulb comes on over your head? Mini epiphanies happen all the time really, the small aha moment, but we don’t always acknowledge them because they only change our lives a bit. They are minor changes; we might change our way doing something or speaking a certain way. A true epiphany marks the point where your life is sent into another direction; a pivot point of your life. An epiphany comes over you suddenly, solidifying your subtle observances, sometimes through foreshadowing or hints, sometimes without warning.
God uses patterns and epiphanies to express his message and training. He uses what we know to teach us what we don’t and to give us hints. Those hints are like our mini epiphanies that we encounter all the time but don’t acknowledge. It’s not until we hear the crack of thunder do we sit up and pay attention.
John the Baptist was a strange character, someone who got your attention. He was loud and seemingly obnoxious. He wore unusual clothes. He was out of the ordinary. His message was strange and most people passed him off as an odd duck. He described himself as “thunder in the desert.” Those who lived in the desert related to that remark. They understood what that was, which gave them some insight into John’s message. John was a loud hint who said in their midst he was not the one who they should look for. The electrifying person, who would make your goosebumps pop, would soon be revealed. The loud crack of sound proclaimed Jesus. The epiphany of all epiphanies.