“But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” –John 16:13-14
Words that haunt me eleven hours beyond the moment they first enveloped me. Somewhere along 1:30 AM, I awoke with the startling awareness that God’s presence was within reach. I couldn’t see him, but I could feel him… the kind of feeling that frightens me, all the while enlivening me. A deep, rich peace surrounding me, calling for my attention and my willingness to entreat the “voice” of my Father. Past experience has taught me not to run from his voice, but instead, to wait for it.
This time, it was immediate. Not audible in the exterior, but loud and clear in my interior. I groped for the pen and notebook that resides on my bedside bookshelf and scribbled down these words in the dark:
“There is none so mysterious as the One standing in this room with you at this very minute.”
“Then what am I to do with you, Lord?”
As quickly as the words arrived, they stopped; the pen and paper found their way home, and I snuggled deeper beneath the cover of night, cradling the gift I’d just been given—
The voice of God.
It arrived on the heels of an evening prayer where I’d wrestled some things out with my Father on my face and with some ample tears to chorus my questions. Questions about his character and his trustworthiness as they pertain to my life. Dangerous questions to ask, yet ones I needed to articulate because my faith had been challenged along these lines earlier in the week (thanks, friend, for the call, the faith, and the prod).
Can I trust the character of God? What is sum total of God’s character? Am I operating from his reality—the truest truth—or from a reality based on my perceptions regarding his interaction in my life? Can I know the character of God, and if so, how do I get there? How do I piece together a better understanding of who he is, so that I can begin to operate my faith from there rather than from a place of skewed awareness? Could it be that a lack of faith stems from ignorance regarding the true nature of faith’s Creator—faith’s Author and Perfecter?
Dangerous questions, yet ones that my Father was willing to entreat on my behalf last evening, because when it comes to his character and his child’s willingness to know him more fully, he bends low to listen, even further to deliver his answer.
And with his voice, I discover something most distinctive about the character of my God.
He is near, and he wants to be known. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have taken the time to startle my soul from slumber and give witness to his mysteriousness, all the while allowing me an unpacking of him therein.
Are we meant to hold mystery and revelation all in the same moment?
I held it last evening; it holds me today. It leads me to worship. It moves me to faith.
Perhaps today, at the beginning of a new beginning, you have some similar questions for our Father. Perhaps you languish in your understanding of God’s character. Perhaps you’re wondering if he can be trusted with your life. Perhaps you’ve seen much, lived through much, fought through much, to the point where your “much” seems too much in keeping with the character of a good God. Your faith is shaken, and you’re heart is asking…
“What am I to do with you, Lord?”
If that is the earnest and honest and purest plea of your heart, would you be willing to leave it with our Father? I don’t have the answers to all of your questions; I certainly haven’t found the answers to all of mine. But I know where to bring them. I trust the character of God enough to know that he receives them, hears them, ponders them, and then in his own time, his own way—
He answers them.
Sometimes in a whisper. Sometimes through a loud roar in the midst of loud day. Sometimes in the reading of his Word. Sometimes at the altar of grace. Sometimes through another’s kindness. Sometimes in a storm. Sometimes in peaceful waters, and sometimes in the middle of the night—bending low and standing bedside to honor the request of his daughter’s heart.
All the times, I think, through a simple two word command that leads all hearts to a greater point of sacred understanding.
Are you willing to move past the questions, friends, into a greater revelation of our Father’s character? I am willing because today I hold the worth of a night’s pause with a night Visitor. I don’t imagine I shall ever recover; I’m certain that I don’t want to…
ever recover from God.
Let’s unpack him together in 2010. It would be my privilege to come alongside you in your night’s pause to entreat the voice of our King. As always…
peace for the journey,
Copyright © January 2010 – Elaine Olsen