A couple of blogs back, I wrote about being caught in a Texas hailstorm back in 1995. I shared about how a song on the radio was comforting to me in that moment as the car was being crushed and I was afraid. I felt like the Lord was speaking to me in my moment of fear and panic through the song: “God is in control…. there is no power above or beside Him, we know….”
I always felt like God so clearly spoke to me that day in a way that I had never experienced before. (By the way, for those who read my blog and know how God uses music in my life, this was the first time — and the only time for many years — I had ever felt like God spoke to me in a song!) But there was also a part of me deep down that questioned that — was it just a “coincidence”? Does God really speak that way? Somehow in my growing up years, either I had missed it or it wasn’t talked about that God does speak to us. I tended to be very skeptical of anything like this. So I don’t think I shared it with anyone — but somewhere deep inside me, I knew it was the Lord that day comforting me through that song.
Fast forward to the summer of 2004. I was doing my first Beth Moore Bible study with some friends. It was called Jesus, the One and Only, and was a study on the book of Luke. To my surprise, I had been thoroughly enjoying this study and loving Beth Moore! I had heard about her for quite some time and been reluctant to do a Bible study that everyone else was doing — what is that rebellion in me all about?! I had all kinds of pre-conceived, yet so misguided, notions!
Anyway, each day had been showing me something new — isn’t that amazing about God’s Word — it does that. And He has given Beth Moore a gift of insights that seem to apply to anyone at any time, no matter the situation.
So it was late one evening and I was not in the mood to do my Bible study. This was a time in my life when I was still addicted to TV in the evening after I got my kids down. I would watch one show to the next, frittering my life away, not doing anything meaningful. I reasoned that I really didn’t need to do my Bible study that day… I had already learned so much the 2 prior days, how could there be anything else God had to show me?! Yes, I know, the arrogance I had is staggering!
So I started into another typical evening, Law & Order, followed by the news and on into Oprah was the plan… just mind-numbing activity. Well, when the news came on, my family was all in bed asleep already, and suddenly, a violent storm came up out of nowhere. The lights flashed and the TV blinked and the storm came. Given my fear of storms that still lingered now, I jumped up and debated, “Do I wake up the kids and bring them into the hallway for safety?” I rushed to wake up my husband who kept on sleeping after urging me that everyone was fine.
I then quickly decided I must be prepared, so I ran and put on my pajamas, lit a bunch of candles in case we lost power, and got everything ready for the worst. I then decided maybe it wasn’t such a bad time to do Bible study. I sat down at the kitchen table with my Bible, study book, candles lit all around, and me in my pajamas, ready for anything!
I could not believe it when I opened the study to that day’s lesson. It was titled “Keep Your Lamps Burning.” The verse was taken from Luke 12:35-36: “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.”
Do you see the picture? Be dressed in readiness with your candles burning basically. And there I sat, now dressed in readiness with my candles lit, a literal example of what my spiritual life should look like.
God showed me He can and does have other things to show me in His Word. It made me wonder whether watching TV each night was the best way for me to be spiritually prepared and ready for His return. I am to be a faithful servant, awaiting my Master’s return.
Well, needless to say, this was the second time in my life where I felt like God had just used some circumstances to speak to me. It’s interesting that both times were in the midst of real life thunderstorms. But He does that, doesn’t He? He enters into the “storms” of our lives to show us Himself and give us hope, to teach us and use those hardships to help us know Him.
I praise Him for that, that He is a personal God, so ready to speak, willing to use any of life’s circumstances to reveal Himself to us. I didn’t even ask Him to in these instances, but He graciously opened my eyes to Himself. I praise Him for that. I don’t think I’d ever asked Him before that time to reveal things to me, but I’ve found He does when I ask. I praise Him for that, too.
Praise You, Lord, for using the storms of life to reveal Yourself to us. I want to be Your servant, dressed in readiness, with my candles burning, expectant, responsive, alert, faithful, sensible, obedient, serving you as I await Your return. Not for me, but for You. Help me to go forward in Your strength and by Your power, to hear Your voice and see with Your eyes, and to obey You as I live in these days and wait for the certain hope of Your return. Praise You, Lord!