The answer is an often overlooked extension that no one would give a second thought to using if they didn't do some research, synckolab. This extension adds the ability to allow Lightning to use the iCal protocol which Google supports.
To use the extension you will need Lightning 2.5b2 for Thunderbird 23. For Thunderbird 24 its best to use Lightning 2.6b1. Click on the link above for synckolab and save the xpi file. Open Thunderbird and go to Tools >> Add-ons.
Now click the settings icon and select Install Add-on from file. Navigate to the xpi file and select it.
Restart Thunderbird to activate the new extension.
Open up your web browser and navigate to your Google Calendar, go to and hover the calendar name you wish to sync with and when the drop down arrow appears hover on it the select "Calendar Settings" and right click on the iCal button for the private URL (should be the second one)
Now in Thunderbird select File >> New >> Calendar, then select the Radio Button for "On the Network" and click "Next" make sure the "iCalendar" Radio Button is selected and then paste the URL you copied from Google into "Location" and click "Next" Lightning will update immediately.
Its simple, easy and it works. Enjoy