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Stolen Thunder
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jan 2, 2002, 19:52

Has anyone ever “stolen your thunder?” Surely you know what I am talking about. Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you want to be the first to announce some big news, but someone else beats you to it. You might describe that incident with the phrase, “someone stole my thunder.”

The phrase does refer to the noise created by thunder. But honestly, can someone steal that? Believe it or not they can. It happened and that is where the phrase itself comes from. It all started in 1709 with a man named John Dennis. He was the first person to say it and when he said it, he meant it…literally! Dennis was an English playwright who invented a new way of simulating the sound of thunder on stage by using wooden troughs. When this device was used, the sound of thunder rolled across the stage for the audience to hear. It was ingenious and inventive . . .unfortunately the play that he created the effect for was not! The play that featured this breakthrough in sound effects didn’t last, but the effect did. Months later, John Dennis was sitting in the audience of another play when he heard a noise he recognized. He heard thunder that was created using the same technique he developed. He exclaimed, “The villains will not have my play, but they steal my thunder!”

Since then the phrase has been used to express disappointment at anything that keeps you from getting the attention you feel rightly belongs to you. Sometimes we all feel like we are not recognized, appreciated, understood, or congratulated for things that we’ve done. There are moments that it gets pretty lonely and we feel like we want to shout to the world, “Hey…Notice me!” In those moments remember who you are and Whose you are. This world is really not about you, it is about God. He knows what you are doing and He desires you to remain obedient to Him. If we can remember that, we still will have those moments that we wish someone would notice us, but we can rest in the fact that no one ever can steal God’s thunder. The Bible asks, “Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like His?” (Job 40:9) He is the creator of real thunder and He holds you in the palm of His hand. Hopefully, that is attention enough for each of us!

Something to think about.

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