So, he got this "picture" for me.
I don't get pictures. I more normally hear God's voice through His written Word or a "sense" of His voice "saying" something. A word, a nudge ...or more usually just an idea, or a thought comes to my mind and it feels "from the Spirit"-- not from me. Once in a while, I just simply "know" something that I wouldn't-or shouldn't know. Is this just Wisdom? I don't know. I am learning.
Learning to hear God's voice is such a journey; like learning any new language. It takes a long time. It takes a lot of practice, a lot of time, and a lot of gumption! And, my friend had gumption enough to share his picture with me.
I don't come from a charismatic-friendly church background. "Hearing from God" was a, sometimes stated, but always believed, "no-no". Certainly we weren't encouraged to look for God outside of the Bible. But, I can't adhere to that way of thinking anymore. And, actually, most of the leaders who led me at that time don't either. I am finding in my journey with Father God, maker of Heaven and Earth, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ; that He can do and act and speak just as He pleases. And, He is very creative! God's creativeness extends beyond the reading of His written Word! (and let me be very clear how important--essential, foundational, centering, and unquestionable--I believe God's written Word (the Holy Bible) is to His people!! I do.)
Jesus, Himself, was the "alive" Word of God. ...not written! Jesus was the Logos, the Word-became-flesh-God! He was breathing, living, active and speaking... And, Christ told us that we also get the amazing gift of the Spirit (again,an alive! and active! person) who will "lead us into all Truth" (John 14:26).
He does speak today. ...all the time. ...and in so many ways!
It is the learning curve of listening and hearing that makes it difficult. We, rightly so, shy away from the classic-'thus-saith-the-Lord' approach; because, frankly, that is scary stuff. Even dangerous! And, one must be very, very certain that the Lord is 'thus-saying-it' to be so bold. I don't find myself with that much confidence very often at all. Sometimes, I suppose, I do. Sometimes it feels that clear to me. Usually, though, in those confident cases... I feel Him speaking that clearly to me ...about me. So, I can more boldly say to myself, 'thus saith the Lord!' and feel on safer ground.
Okay, enough of the theological rambling on the voice of God! I was writing about my friend's picture.
So, he got a picture for me.
He was slightly timid (which is not his nature), or maybe a bit shy, in sharing it ...which again may be wisdom at work. I don't know. But, he took to heart what he "saw" and "heard", he had hid it away for a day, and then he just had to share with me.
And, I am so glad he did!
On the Tuesday before my surgery (which I am recovering from right now!!), I wrote briefly about the journey through Psalm 139 that Father had been taking me. Father had been sweetly reminding me that He knew me intimately. He had been whispering into my heart, day-after-day, that I was "hemmed-in". In fact, the words "hemmed-in" had so vividly jumped off the page that I had to sit and research what they meant in the original language written. I don't use the words hemmed-in pretty much ever in my every-day speech, do you?
It was a sweet gift from my Father to remind me that He was squeezing me in a protective hug. He was before me and behind me.
On Wednesday, my friend gently shared a picture with me that he did not understand. He thought, in fact, it seemed a bit silly. Odd. He had been praying for me on Tuesday morning and had "received" this image in his mind-eye while praying... and it was accompanied with a few words he didn't really get either. He didn't share it right away on Tuesday. But, on Wednesday, he did.
...he hadn't read my blog post on Psalm 139. And, I had not shared with him my Psalm 139 journey of late.
He had seen me lying in a little, tight, (almost uncomfortably small) green field with little yellow flowers. I was laying there peacefully with a white picket fence surrounding me. That was the picture. Simple. A bit odd. But, he felt it was maybe from God.
The minute he began to describe the picture... the very minute... the words popped into my mind, "Hemmed-in!". I knew God had given him that picture. It was the perfect picture! And, tears began to well in my eyes.
To top-it-off, my friend then said, "And, I had words with the picture". But, he was giggling just a bit... because the words made no sense to him at all. He just knew he had to say them. He said, "the picture came with the words: 'hemmed-in, behind and before'.
Pause. After he spoke the words, a Big, Silent, Holy Pause filled the room as tears filled my eyes.
Did you hear that? Did God just do that? For me?!!
Father had tenderly spoken words of peace to me for days. (I had written that very verse "hemmed in, behind and before" in my journal some three separate times that week!) And, then, just to be VERY clear with His message to me, Father spoke the very same words with a beautiful, peaceful picture to my friend.
Oh, Father you wanted me to know... to really know... that You were holding me, surrounding me, besieging me with Love!
The day of the surgery and the following few days after I needed these words and this picture. The picture and the words floated around my mind and my body for days. This concept of my being "hemmed-in" encircled me. What a gift!
He is alive and active, this beautiful-awesome God we love, we serve and we worship! He speaks. He knows. He speaks!!
I believe God spoke and my friend saw this picture for me. And I am so glad he did.