“Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.” Isaiah 48:12-13
I am not a mystic although at times I long to be. I don’t have visions of the Lord, I don’t dream dreams of the Lord, and I don’t hear his voice. I haven’t even had a dream of Becky since she died. Others have dreamed of her and sensed her presence, but not me. I seem to be firmly rooted in this world even though I have a profound faith in the next.
I’ve told you this because of what I’m going to tell you next. At least at this point in my life it is a once in a lifetime experience that I don’t expect to ever have repeated. On Sunday, July 12, 2009 I was up at 6 a.m. and alone in the den of our home. I wasn’t doing much of anything, just enjoying a quiet cup of coffee to start the day. I was at a place of pretty complete exhaustion. I was less than a month into retirement from a job that I loved, but that had pretty much eaten me up. I was still working at least half time on a call-back basis. At that time I was in a season of pretty significant spiritual drought and doubting
that God existed or cared. Strangely enough I wasn’t considering leaving my faith – I was just in a deep, exhausted dry place.
Recall that I said it was quiet. In a shocking moment that I will remember forever I heard a voice state simply “I am.” I looked back over my shoulder to see who spoke since no one else was even home. The voice was real – a voice that my eardrums responded to, but there was no one there to utter the words. The next moment I felt an utter and profound certainty that the Lord, the great ‘I am’, had spoken. I still have the note in my Bible that says “God said ‘I am’ on Sunday a.m. July 12/09 at about 6 a.m. – I wonder why?” As if in answer to that note, my Bible has this note right below it “on 12/29/10 Becky died.”
The nearly year and a half between the time I heard the voice and the time that Becky died was a time of reaffirming my faith and growing deeper in love with the Lord. Somehow that simple but profound statement of existence was all I needed to kick me into a hunger and thirst to know Jesus more and to love Him better. I shared this experience with both Becky and Jacob when I spent three days with them during the November before Becky died. At one point after Becky died Jacob mentioned that she had been reading her Bible a whole lot more in the weeks before her death. I find myself wondering if the experience God gave me that I then shared with Becky, helped her to have the same yearning for a deeper relationship with Him.
I’m so thankful for this one time gift that helped my heart prepare for the unthinkable. I couldn’t have faced Becky’s death without a solid belief in the goodness and reality of this God who cares enough to say to me “I am”.
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and
behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18
Thanks for sharing. It’s no wonder we so often don’t understand what God is doing in our life. It’s because He is preparing us for something yet to come. I’ve have seen it in my own life as well. Blessings my friend.