Last week after studying Genesis 18 and 19 about God visit Abraham with such purpose in mind, after dreaming and talking hypothetically about the future, I laughingly said, "I wish God still visited like he did to Abraham. I wish he'd just come meet me by the oak tree and announce what he was going to do."
Two nights ago I was in a fitful sleep. Filled with strange dreams and strange sounds as the wind raged outside our windows on the second floor.
I awoke with a jolt. Hearing and feeling a gust breath in front of my face. My heart raced full throttle. I widened my eyes, thinking I would take in the sweet and sleepy face of my blonde haired three year old. I saw nothing. No one was there.
Rolling onto my back, trying to slow my heart, I told myself to go back to sleep.
I heard the clear voice in my head. I stilled, wondering if was still dreaming.
"Get up." he repeated.
Lord, it's 3:55, surely you can't mean for me to get out of bed.
"Get up. Read your bible." he clarified.
I felt like Samuel. I knew I could go back to sleep, I could ignore the voice. I could blame it on something I ate. I could blame it on bad sleep. Or I could acknowledge that God was talking to me. And obey.
I wanted to stay in bed. Desperately. Between a husband who snores and children who need me for various reasons, I don't get great sleep. But I was aware of the weight of my selfishness, it held me there under the covers, it begged me to stay. My heart still races, expecting the voice to boom if I didn't get up. But it didn't, it faded away while I battled my own will.
Finally I slipt out of the bed and grabbed my faded pink leather bible, the one I had received when I first became a believer. I travelled downstairs in the dark and curled up on the couch.
For the next hour I revisited every verse I had underlined and highlighted in my teenage years. I laughed to myself about some things I had written in the margins and was encouraged by things he had accomplished since those awkward years.
I didn't receive a world changing revelation and he didn't exactly announce to me what he was doing in the future. But I realized that last week, I had desperately wanted him to visit me…And he had.
He told me to get up and get in his word. He reminded me of how he had guided me through my worst years. He reminded me that he'll not stop doing that, ever.
But i realized:
I have to be listening for his voice. In our day and age, we are so busy. He are so self-reliant and self-sufficient that we don't listen for the very real voice of the Holy Spirit. How often do I miss it? Or excuse it? Or ignore it?
And His Word is His voice too. Get up and fill you mind with the word.
I have to be ready to obey. Even in the middle of the night. Even on a busy day. The God of the universe had every right to intervene and ask me to obey.
Trust that he will come again. If we listen, if we obey, then he'll entrust us with more the next time he visits. But also, with the Holy Spirit living inside of me, and the word of God in my lap…he visits every day.
As I turned out the light and laid my head down, I thanked God for waking me up, for speaking to me and for reminding me that he is the same God of Abraham and he is today. With only a few hours left until the children woke up, even though the winded pounded against the house, I slept gloriously on the couch because I had filled my mind with the only One who give true peace and rest.