I want to share with you a story that was sent me to recently by our good friend Tutti Harris. Tutti, like so many thousands across the world had prayed for our son Caleb after he was injured at Fall Creek Falls 4 years ago. We have grown to love Tutti and her heart as she has shown our family so much love and concern, especially for Caleb. When I began this blog I had no idea the great response I would get from others who have had similar encounters with God. God truly does love His children and desires to have an intimate relationship with us, one that includes our being able to hear Him and see His activity in our lives.
When I read this story I remembered how God had called me and others into prayer before Caleb’s accident. The day before we left on our trip my dad called me saying that he felt something was wrong or about to happen. His fear was contagious. That night I too felt like something wasn’t right. All I could do was pray. I felt like something might happen to one of our kids. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I felt something might happen. That night when my head hit the pillow I felt all was ok. I had no idea that what I was sensing would happen that weekend.
In my reading for today I listened to Matthew in chapter 2 tell the story of the visit of the Magi from the east, and Herod’s maniacal reaction to the news of the birth of the Messiah.
What hit me is that 4 times in this short chapter we see God use dreams to speak to people.
1. After Herod has the idea to kill the Messiah, he tells the Magi to go and find him and let him know so he too can go and “worship him” (Matthew 2:8). They go and find Jesus and present their gifts to him. Afterwards, God warned them in a dream to not go back to Herod, but to return to the East by a different way (Matthew 2:12).
2. After the Magi leave, God warns Joseph in a dream and tells him to immediately take Mary and Jesus to Egypt and to remain there until God “tells him” to return (Matthew 2:13) so as to avoid being killed in Herod’s wrath.
3. After Herod dies, an angel of God appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him that he can come back to Israel (Matthew 2:19).
4. Once Joseph returns to Israel he learns that Archelaus, Herod’s son was now reigning over Judea, and he was afraid. God again warns Joseph in a dream to not go to Judea, but to go north to settle in Nazareth in Galilee (Matthew 2:22).
I want to just say, I am super excited that I get to share this very special post for you all. This was written by the most amazing woman I have ever known, my wife Tiffany. I know you all see me write quite a bit, but when Tiffany shared this story with me the other day, I told her she HAD to write it shown and share it with you all. It is yet again, a clear example of how God leaves His fingerprints for us and how He is intimately involved with every aspect of our lives. So here you go…
In the beginning everything was perfect. Adam and Eve were complete, lacking nothing. But after the fall of man it created a deficiency in us that only Christ could fill. Now, thanks to all God has done, we have Him living inside of us. The fruit of the Spirit amazingly, is not something that we can obtain. They are freely given to us, the fruit of the love relationship, the romance we get to have with our Father. When we choose the Spirit, we walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
As an oft worn out mommy of 4 I find myself searching for my joy, my patience, my kindness, etc. Often, when things get hectic around the house and when the kids are going crazy, I will respond to their misbehavior with—let’s admit it—something other than the fruit of the Spirit. Yes, the flesh, I think as Paul calls it.
But something hit me the other day.
God did not create the world and then leave it for us to carry on our lives alone. If you remember in the book of Genesis, before the fall of man, God walked with man in the Garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). It was only after man sinned that Adam and Eve were placed outside of the Garden of Eden, outside of God’s personal tangible presence. The reason was because God could not be in the presence of sin.
But Jesus came so that we might be saved and reconciled back to God. He dealt with our sin once and for all. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says: “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.” We’ve been reconciled, brought back together into that same loving relationship that we once had. If that is true, then why do so many pulpits today still put a barrier between us and God? Why do we feel as though God is still distant, still angry? The truth us, He’s not.
God’s fingerprints are always around us. What I have learned over the last four years is that because of our hurried and busied life, we rarely see them. But when we learn to look for them, when we slow down and look with eyes that see and ears that hear, God speaks to us in ways that we can’t miss, that touch our hearts, that are deeply personal and intimate, that leave us changed because they are real encounters with a living God.
Jesus conveyed this one day when he was speaking to his disciples and talking with them about the love and care God has for His children, even down to the smallest and most seemingly insignificant details of their lives.
I dropped into Kroger’s to get a couple of things on my way home. The other day I had accidentally had two transactions and forgot to pay for one of them, some dish cleaner that my wife needed. The Spirit convicted me when I left and sure enough when I checked my bags I realized that I had not paid for the second transaction. So today while in there I walked up to a clerk to tell them what had happened. The look on the man’s face said it all.
You will notice that I titled the book chronicling the journey of Caleb’s accident and the months after, God Still Speaks: The Miracle at Fall Creek Falls. If you have had a chance to download the first chapter and read the prologue to the book, then you probably now know why I gave it that title.
The day Caleb nearly died was an immense turning point in my life in many ways. We all go through times in our lives where we can look back and say, “See, life was one way before, and then something completely different after.” But what very few people know is that the major turning point for my life, the one that really shook me to the core, did not happen on that fateful day in October 2010. It happened a year earlier in 2009. What happened?
God spoke to me.