a night Visitor…

a night Visitor…

“One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel.” (1 Samuel 3:2-4).


I’m not a good sleeper, but last night I slept … good. The night colored darker than usual, the sound machine gently lulled my slumber, the overhead ceiling fan operated at full throttle, and there were no boys above me to creak the witness of their presence. I went to bed earlier than usual, tucking myself in with some truth from God’s Word and some audible prayers for the saints.

Sleep was sweet, and then sleep was interrupted. Not by a loud noise or a neighboring dog or even the sound of my husband snoring. No, the culprit behind my “bolt-upright in bed” response was nothing more than the sound of a page turning in my Bible. It lay open by my bed; apparently the breeze created by the ceiling fan forced its movement. In doing so, it forced my notice.

For a few minutes, I became cognizant to the spiritual domain hovering close by. I’m not a mystic, nor do I major on the physical manifestations of the “unseen” dimension that I heartily believe to be at work around us 24/7. But I’ve lived with God long enough and deep enough to realize when he is making a point.

He made one last evening, and before I could forget it, I grabbed the pad of paper and pen that lay bedside and wrote down these words in the dark…

That’s the way our faith is with God. He shows up, pages turn, and the whispers of his grace wake us from our dismal slumber.

As quickly as I was awakened from my slumber, I returned to its embrace. When I awoke this morning, I wondered if my imagination was to blame for my earlier alertness. One quick glance at my notebook told me otherwise. The handwriting was a bit skewed, but the words verified the moment. And this morning, I’m thinking that maybe someone today needs to hear the truth about a “showing up, page turning, whispering grace” kind of God.

Our faith activates his presence. Every time. There is no “maybe” on his part; no “if I feel like it” or “if I’m not busy”. Our God is faithful to arrive upon the scenes of our lives as we are faithful to seek him out. Not just at night (although I think the quiet of evening and the cover of darkness is tailor made for his arrival), but also during the daytime when light is obvious and our senses are most alert to the movement around us.

If God is about anything, he’s about turning the pages of our stories with the idea that a conclusion is fast approaching. We cannot stop his inevitable end to our stories; we can stall the progress toward that end … put up roadblocks and force some heavy editing in the process, but make no mistake. Our books are being written by the very hand of God, and one day soon, ours will shelve alongside the ancients of old where we will spend an eternity, together with them, enraptured by the “read”.

Some of you, today, need for a page to turn in your life. Need the hand of God to reach down from heaven and end the suspense of the preceding paragraphs that have captured your attention for a long season. You desire to move on, to get on with the rest of your story, but you are stuck … mired down in the confusion of some words and with an understanding that refuses to move you on to the next page. Perhaps your strength has waned with the reading, forcing your slumber and your inattentiveness. Perhaps, even your faith has taken a hit.

I understand. I, too, have hosted some seasons of being stuck. I’m afraid I don’t have a ten-step plan or a fifteen-chapter book that will guarantee your success at breaking free from its grip. No, when I walk through times of slumber, times of wishing for the “page to turn” but unable to do so through my own strength, the only thing I know to do is to keep walking … keep refusing the pre-mature end to my story that, apparently, has a chapter or two more to be written.

In those seasons, I simply bring the unfinished product to Jesus, lay it before him, and ask him to move it forward … to move me forward. To reach down from heaven with the whispers of his grace and to blow the pages of my life and the faith of my heart onward.

He’s never disappointed me; he’s always been faithful and deliberate with his showing up. Granted, the progress is sometimes a bit slow for my taste, but even then, I’m willing to concede that my taste and my Father’s are not always equal in their merit. I cannot see the finished product; he can, and so I make a decision to trust him with the pace believing that the end will arrive on time and with the sacred conclusion of my final perfection.

I don’t how this strikes you today; maybe it’s not for you. But for a few of you, those of you whose eyes have grown “weak” and whose perception has grown dim, I want you to know the truth of my late-night encounter with the presence of the living God. When you activate your faith and incline your heart in his direction, he is faithful to reach down from the heavenlies and to turn the pages of your story in perfect keeping with his will.

If you are stuck today, I pray the whispers of God’s grace to be your portion and the witness of his presence to be your comfort. Your story is but one divine breath away from turning its page and moving its words forward into the annals of an everlasting faith. May God grant you the courage and the wisdom to relinquish the pen into his capable hands. As always…

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PS: I didn’t plan on being here today, but then again, I didn’t plan on a night visitor. I don’t know when I’ll be here again; I’m sensing the need to pull away for a few days. Please know that I keep you in my heart throughout the day. You’ve all become a vital and integral part in my faith journey, and I count it a privilege to live in fellowship with you. Enjoy this beautiful day we’ve been given; may the sure and certain presence of our Father find you on the pages of your story this week. Shalom.

PSS: I’m adding yet another Bebo song to this post; I somehow feel impressed to do so. This is for my new blogging friend, Shirl, at “sketches of a common life”. Have you all met her? You need to … this week. Her pen is gifted; her heart in tune with her Savior. I’ll be giving away a copy of Bebo’s latest CD to one of you for leaving a comment on this post.

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36 Responses to a night Visitor…

  1. I have definitely been guilty of asking God to hurry up and turn the page, especially when I'm going through some rough chapters in my life.

    I understand the need to pull away for a few days. Just don't leave us hanging too long, though…ya hear?! 😉

    Love ya!
    Beth

  2. wifeforthejourney:

    Thank you for sharing your late night visit, what a blessing to know that God could speak to your heart without disturbing your rest. You are in my specific prayers here this afternoon, that there will be more "page turning" with each moment of the day.

    I love you more than you'll ever know, and better than I'll ever be able to express!
    ~ Billy

  3. Elaine,

    By far, this post has spoken to the deepest parts of my heart.

    You've truly answered some questions and help quiet my murmurings today.

    How can I thank you enough for being obedient to that call last night and then to share this with us today.

    A word just for me!!!

    Thank you sweet sister♥

  4. and in those early morning hours it was you I was praying for. I think you are just a page away from something big in your life elaine. Thanks for sharing how God has spoken to you.

  5. I eagerly wait for His breath to turn some pages in my life. I don't think I will be waiting long. With the trip to Ecuador fast approaching, I am expecting great things.

    Shalom,
    Denise

  6. As I sit in front of this computer 'supposed' to be working on a speaking session for next week…I feel void…and yet way too full. I feel overwhelmed and yet empty…can it be? I came to hear the voice of Jesus…as I know He speaks to you and through you…I hear loud and clear GRACE…my session "Even Mommies Make Mistakes" a session about parenting with Grace…and yet I feel confused on how it should flow at the end…Elaine will you please join me in praying for clarity…cause as I sit here I feel a little more than not qualified…unprepared…and yet totally not in control…crazy thing is…I have shared this session before..twice…and yet there is something that is needing tweeked…and yet I can't figure out what it is!! Jesus…remind me to breath in your perfect timing..inhale…exhale…!

    Thank You Elaine for being a positive beautiful role model to bounce this to!

    Trusting and knowing its not void in purpose!

  7. I was so touched and just blown away by this today Elaine. Very powerful – I will reread for another chance to be ministered to.

    Don't break too long!

  8. Hi Elaine…I found a link to your vlog at Lisa's place and popped over to visit your blog. I was immediately drawn in as you shared from your heart…feel like I've known you for a long time! Must be one of those 'spirit to spirit' things.
    Thanks for sharing your night-time experience with the Lord. Isn't it awesome how He stops in with just the right words at just the right moment!
    Bless you…I'll be back soon!
    Susan

  9. Amazing. Absolutely beautiful! In such a mysteriously humble moment it's as though the God of creation was rocking the sleeping babe, only to lull the wakened one to sleep once again.

    THAT chokes me up!

    The words – His words – are powerful; enough to ponder for hours, if not days on end. How like Him.

    Be blessed, dear Elaine. There's a fresh, new day here and I'm thinking He has something in mind for your mini-retreat.

    Kathleen

  10. This is such an amazing post! I love the way God gets our attention. He does it in so many different ways and each is wonderful and awe inspiring. Your description of your night visitor leaves me with a pounding heart filled with praise. It is a delight and encouragement to read about the work of God in your life. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Thank You Father God for Your message through Elaine.

    I prostrate before You Father, in Jesus' name, amen.

  12. Awakened by the sound of Bible pages turning gently in the breeze: another version of "the still, small voice." Intimate, gentle, precious. Thank you for sharing this blessing and visitation.
    Love,
    R.

  13. Oh yes, turn the page, Lord. Again and again and again. Thank you, dear sister, and I pray you are blessed for taking time away. Much love.

  14. I love how God just doesn't even mind waking us up in the middle of night if He has something to impress upon us. He is not bound by time like we are and so He works in the timeframe that He knows is best.

    Oh, yes, many times I have hoped for the page to turn quickly. Even now as I wait to hear from Him on a few things, I find myself wishing He would hurry.

    Leah

  15. Stuck! That describes me pretty well today! 🙂

    I can't tell you how much it touches me that you are concerned about your friends…your readers. That reveals what a godly spirit resides within your heart!

    May God bless you friend!

    Marilyn…in Mississippi

  16. I've had to "pull back" too.

    Because He's been requesting the honor of my presence.

    Early. In the mornings.

    I'm loving.

    Reading His comments.

    Sweet dreams.

  17. This hit me on multiple levels.

    One of which is this: A couple hours ago, my 7-year-old daughter were reading from the verses you quote. It was her bedtime story….

    God is our "night visitor" too.

  18. "Our God is faithful to arrive upon the scenes of our lives as we are faithful to seek him out." I needed this and the entire post today! Wow! Elaine, chickadee, you continue to amaze me with your writing…it is so filled with His Presence.

    I will visit your precious friend! Enjoy your time away. Run some for me!
    Love you!
    Susan

  19. "Our faith activates his presence." ~ Wise words, my friend.

    May you go and rest in the peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    You are a good example to us… to remember the main thing… is to be with Him… and everything else… pours out of that…

  20. Yes, our God is the best, the only writer.

    The image and sounds of a page turning in your Bible speaks to me in another way: simply, 'Come read and hear my Word. I have so much more to tell you.'

  21. Oh wow! I know I've already commented, but that was before you added this video! Wow! My soul was stirred and I wanted to run out into that field and dance before God!!! I feel that song!

  22. Your posts are little glimmers of heaven for me. Your writing takes me closer to His throne and a deeper understanding of His love for me. I can relate to being stuck, but praise the Lord, you won't find me there now. I feel God moving, turning the pages of my life, like never before. Of course, I've never spent a year turning more of His pages (the Bible) than I have this year. Reading through the Bible in a year and writing about my faith has plunged me deeper. I want to go even deeper, to allow God to use me to fan a wind that might help to turn the pages of others. Not sure if that makes sense. I love ya Sis. You're my sister from another mother because we sure share the same Daddy!!! If you must pull away, enjoy your time and come back soon.

  23. That’s the way our faith is with God. He shows up, pages turn, and the whispers of his grace wake us from our dismal slumber.

    YES. And I am like this too. So much so. Praying for your respite from blogging.

  24. "That’s the way our faith is with God. He shows up, pages turn, and the whispers of his grace wake us from our dismal slumber."

    Oh My Elaine! How this has touched me in the deepest parts of my soul today. I am so moved. His grace is awakening my slumbering heart in so many areas. These parts of me have been sleeping too long. Thank you for this word.

    Christy

  25. Oh how I have wanted to take the pen from His hand this week as I watched Jesus turn the page of my friend Kim's story and start a new eternal chapter. Yet, I trust Him.

    Thanks for knowing where I am and keeping an eye on my heart.

    Love you my friend!
    Renee

  26. Another beauitful and heart stirring post, Elaine! I especially loved this: "He’s about turning the pages of our stories with the idea that a conclusion is fast approaching".

    This is so encouraging to me as we continue to wait for God to turn the next page of our lives concerning a job and probable move. Thank you for sharing what the Lord spoke to you in the night

    Blessings to you on your journey… Jennifer

  27. May God grant you the courage and the wisdom to relinquish the pen into his capable hands." I NEEDED this today. Bless you Elaine, bless you!

  28. Such a beautiful post, Elaine, of how God will be with us and guide us if we just turn it over to Him and listen. I have been guilty in the past year of trying to "hurry God up" and it just doesn't work. Only now that I'm focusing on letting Him take control and allowing Him to move at His pace do I feel at peace.

  29. I loved your words and they spoke to me again although I am happy to report that I am at a good moment in my life today. And I am appreciating what God is doing with me:)

  30. Hi precious,

    I thought I was here and read this before and commented. Something drew me back…

    I've read it again to be sure and IF I read it already then TODAY, this moment is when I needed to read it again!

    Your words: "That’s the way our faith is with God. He shows up, pages turn, and the whispers of his grace wake us from our dismal slumber.", says it all for me.

    As you pull away may the LORD minister to your heart dear friend. I love you.

  31. Elaine
    There is so much I could say in this one post. I happened to your blog today and was immediately drawn to it because of the verse in your heading, John 14:27. This is my Moms favorite verse and we are in a very difficult season. She has just been diagnosed with stage IV gastic cancer. Our family is devastated. I am staying with my parents most of the time because she is very ill.
    Anyway, I love you posts. I need them.
    But amazingly we are very tied to Asbury College. We live about 20 min. away in Harrodsburg, and my son is a Senior there. We love Wilmore!!! I'm sorry this post is so long but I'm just so thankful I found this blog.

  32. I'm doing a little blog surfing this morning and even though this post is close to 2 months old, it really spoke to me. I need a couple of pages to be turned so I can move on in Him. Thanks so much! (Don't know if you'll even see this comment since it is on an older post)