A few posts ago I mentioned one of my students. One day during class I looked out to see her reading and writing from her Bible. Something wasn’t right with her.
A few days later, I learned that her father was in coma after suffering a massive heart attack. Yesterday, on Easter, I learned that her father passed away. He had eight children, several of whom I’ve had in class over the years.
There is something uncommonly special about this family. I’ve sensed an abiding presence, even in their eyes. There is something arresting in their vision that pierces through the natural world and into the spiritual. There is something different about how this family looks at people. I could speak volumes of this family, even with the limited exposure I had to them.
There is one particular way this man touched my life, however. Several months ago, I visited the church of one my friends. I went during a time in my life when my heart was crying out under the weight of a number of burdens. I felt hopeless and up against a wall. I needed a touch from God.
But while there that night, I felt drawn to enter one of the rooms designated for the church’s prophetic ministry. I had never had any experience with this type of thing. Ordinarily, my head would have tagged this as a little too “out there.” But I was in a place where people who hungered for God had made purposeful decisions and sacrifices to create a space where the Holy Spirit was honored.
It turns out the ministry was launched by this same visionary, Spirit-filled saint who passed away yesterday. Tonight I found my prayer journal from that time. As I turned through those pages, I saw how God used that ministry to speak truth to me and build up my faith. For example, while meeting in that room, I was told that I would soon be receiving an answer for which I had been long waiting. Years, in my case. After getting home that night, my wife shared with me a conversation she had had with someone earlier in the day. I immediately began seeing the power of God invading my life to supply my needs. God was seeking my attention. I saw God as the One who provides. Jehovah-Jireh.
I didn’t simply write this news off as good fortune, which maybe happened to be somehow attached to a passive and impersonal blessing from God, too. Instead, I received it as the Good News that Jesus is actively working in my life to build a faith-based relationship. He personally desires to get my attention. He is not content with me finding answers to my earthly problems. No, He wants me to know how I’ve been found by Him.
My experience with this ministry taught me that God wants to do more than just speak to me. He wants to prove things to me. He wants to confirm His character to me. He’s my Father, and He is not content to love me from a distance. He wants to show me the vastness of His love. That’s why He came down from heaven and hung on a cross.
I didn’t go to this prophetic ministry looking to discover a specific answer to a specific problem. I went to discover, more fully, the character of God. And though then I didn’t realize it, the lifelong expression of this one man’s heart, through ministry and relationships, played an important role in my journey of understanding God’s heart. The way I see it, God had called me closer to His table that night, and this servant was obediently present in his ministry, even if not in the physical sense, to help serve and prepare the meal my Lord had in mind for me.
This faithful servant’s life inspires me to look into the eyes of everyone I meet and serve, seen or unseen, with the same piercing light of Christ. I never had the opportunity to meet this man in the natural, but I don’t think we should ever underestimate the distance His light can shine through our lives.