“…we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us.”
2 Corinthians 1:9, 10
I sat down to spend time with God and had no clue as to where I was to go. Still feeling the nag of distraction, I forced myself to sit still. I listened to Charles Stanley and didn’t feel a thing. I turned to a devotion and still an emptiness. In the silence of the room, I cast my eyes to the window and let my mind wander, praying for guidance during this time of meditation. As I gazed at the apartments across the way, I was reminded of the conversation that I had with God the previous morning while getting ready for work.
It was 5:00 AM, and I had just gotten out of the shower. I was listening to a sermon in the hopes of gaining some momentum for the day. From out of nowhere, a conversation began to form within me. I instantly recognized where it was coming from, so I tuned out the voice on my cell phone and tuned into the One that lives within me. I sensed certain words but it took thoughts, impressions and memories before I could fully understand what was being communicated to me. Often times, when I hear Him, it isn’t all words which is why I have to get still and be quiet. When we have physical conversations, we can listen and do something else at the same time. Sometimes, we don’t get the full gist of what’s being said because we are side-tracked, but we still comprehend to a certain degree. A divine conversation, for me anyway, takes complete focus and attention. Almost like looking at those funny pictures on the wall. What you see in passing is squiggles, colors, and shapes. If you stop long enough and concentrate, an image will appear. If you take your eye off of it for a split second, you’ve lost the image and you have to start all over again. I feel this is the same with hearing God. When He speaks (not audibly), I have to stop so I don’t lose Him. Here is what He said:
“Come to me for who I am, not for what I can do for you. I am a God of mercy, forgiveness, compassion, justice, love and grace. I want to share this with you. I want you to experience who I am and not what I’ve done or what I can do. I don’t want you to sit with me with an ulterior motive. I am not your project. Yes, I rescue, provide, protect, heal, comfort and save, but there is so much more that I have to offer. Come to me and wait, I will show you who I am.”
Tearing my gaze from the view of apartments outside my window, I grabbed my Bible, flipped back to the Concordance and looked up God, desiring to know who He is instead of what He’s done. I read several Scriptures similar to Deuteronomy 33:26, 27:
“There is no one like the God of Israel.
He rides across the heavens to help you,
across the skies in majestic splendor.
The eternal God is your refuge,
and His everlasting arms are under you.
He drives out the enemy before you;
He cries out, Destroy them!”
As I read, I feel the gradual lift of my human heaviness. My surroundings are no longer relevant, I’ve been enveloped in a divine quiet, and I sink into His ultimate peace. Nothing matters but this time with Him. Silenced, I close my eyes and shut down the outside world.
He brings to mind a frightening dream that I had in the wee hours of the morning. I was deathly afraid of heights but for some reason I had climbed into a tall tree. The limb that I chose to sit on was like that of a saddle on a horse. I fit perfectly in it and felt comfortable but somehow that ease disappeared, and I found myself sitting in a tire swing that was set in a fixed position. I looked down and could barely see the ground. I could tell there was green grass below but I was unable to pick out the whimsical shapes of the dandelions. I was scared and began to panic. I sucked in as much oxygen as I could and slowly blew it out. In mid pull of the second breath of fresh air, a man came over. He’s feet were firmly planted on the lawn but somehow he was looking directly into my eyes.
How can he be so tall?
He stated that he could help me. I timidly stated that I didn’t mean to climb this high. His smile was nice and His compassionate eyes were intoxicating. I couldn’t help but lean into him a little bit. The smell of his body was earthy, and I liked it. He felt safe and tangible. I released my grasp from the rope and cinched myself down the tire until I was hanging from the bottom-half. The man grabbed my legs and hoisted me onto his shoulder and set me firmly down on the ground and then I woke up!
He rescued me in my slumber just as He did in England while on vacation in 2001. Genesis 50:20 tells of His intent:
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
My husband was in the Air Force at the time, and we were stationed at RAF Mildenhall. My brother-in-law and his wife had come to visit us. They, too, had spent quite a bit of time in England and knew the area well. They planned a trip to Cornwall because they still had friends there and they loved the area. We were invited to come along so my husband and I took time off from work so that we could accompany them on their travels. The house we stayed in was right near the water. It was too cold to swim in but lovely to look at. I enjoyed the walks on the beach with my family. The weather was perfect for outdoor exercise. I had lost some weight by committing to a circuit training class three times a week back home, and I didn’t want to become lazy and gain it all back.
The man of the house was physically fit and enjoyed running. When I found this out, I asked if it would be okay if I went along with him. He was glad for the company and said that he would show me his route. We took off together the next morning, and I quickly realized that he was in much better shape than I. I felt sorry that he had to slow his pace way down just so I could keep up. He did not accompany me again to which I completely understood.
The second day of our visit, I joyfully jogged the entire route on my own. The third morning, I woke early and was full of energy. The entire house was still asleep. They had been out the night before enjoying the local pub.
I couldn’t wait to take in the fresh air and picturesque landscape, I jumped from my bed and pulled on my blue Adidas wind pants and a yellow, long-sleeved pullover. No jacket was required! I stepped outside and looked up! There was a barely a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining brightly!
I headed up the steep hill, stretching my legs with long strides. When I reached the top, I began a slow jog. About fifteen minutes into it, I realized that my body was not up for that sort of movement so I walked and enjoyed the view instead. The hedgerows were majestic! Taller than what I was accustomed to in Feltwell, which is the little village we lived in. I couldn’t see anything but the road ahead.
I didn’t put my headphones on because I wanted to take in the sounds of nature. The birds were singing a joyful tune, leaves were rustling slightly in the breeze and my footsteps quietly tapped the road beneath me. I didn’t carry a cellphone at this time because there wasn’t a need for one and if I were to scream for help, it would have gone unnoticed. Cars were few and far between. I was in my own world except for the jeep that was slowly cruising towards me. I had ample time to observe its appearance. It was old and two toned. The hood and doors were dirty white, and the body was a military green. It was creepy which is why my eyes quickly shifted to inspect the passengers. There were two men in the front seat, middle-aged and extremely bushy looking. Long brown hair, beards were full and their gaze was penetrating. I remember thinking to myself that they looked like trouble. I was thankful they were going the other way.
I continued to walk realizing that my senses were on high alert; my instincts had kicked in as if I were expecting their return at any moment. I’m not sure how much further I traveled but felt relief to see a break in the hedgerow. My panic was overwhelming, and I felt trapped, the gap would be a relief. To my horror, there sat the jeep with the two men inside. My knees went weak, my heart sped up and I felt cornered. I kept on walking, pretending that their presence didn’t bother me, but I knew that my tough exterior was no match for the strength of those two burly men.
I heard the jeep creep out of the field that it had been sitting in. My ears were in full tune to the movement of their tires. I didn’t need to look back to see where they were; I already knew! They slowly pulled onto the road, and I could hear the rocks they rolled over as they got closer. I looked ahead with a vacant stare and saw no escape and no help. I had been ambushed and in realizing this I quietly said to myself:
“This is it. It’s all over!”
I could have reached behind me and touched the rusted bumper of their vehicle, that’s how close they were. I felt the heat from their engine and the heavy fumes were gagging. With my breath held, I waited for the passenger door to swiftly open, imagining their rough hands as they forced me to the floor of their filthy automobile. Just when I thought my life was doomed, an enormous, brown car appeared from out of nowhere. The jeep pulled around me and sped off. I turned and ran in the opposite direction, my legs barely able to carry me. I came to another break in the hedgerow, on the opposite side of the road, and dove in.
As I remained still and quiet in my safe haven, I heard a vehicle approaching in the distance. I closed my eyes in the hopes I would disappear from this unimaginable nightmare and envisioned a frightened rabbit seeking refuge from a carnivorous predator. Miraculously, the engine noise vanished, and I leaped from my shelter and high-tailed it back to my family. I believe that evil was intended but Jesus made another way! He saved me that day! And, just as His Word promises in Hebrews 13:5, 6
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”
So we can say with confidence,
The Lord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?”