"unpack me"… a night Visitor re-visits

{Hadn’t planned on being here today; hadn’t planned on writing today. Some days, however, our experiences call for some words, some remembrance. This was one of them. Maybe I wrote them for you as well. Shalom.}

“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

“Unpack me.”

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?”

“Unpack me.”

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.

“Unpack me.”

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?

Apparently so.

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.

“Unpack me.”

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

35 Responses to "unpack me"… a night Visitor re-visits

  1. Wow! Powerful stuff. I am in on the "unpacking". I have had my own questions this year and I am ready to actually listen!

    Be blessed!

  2. Excited to unpack Him in 2010!! In my heart I know that even if we 'unpack' for a thousand lifetimes, the mystery of Him still will remain. How exciting!!

    Would love for you and your readers to join me for Challenge 2010 over at The Point – a Scripture memory challenge for 2010.


  3. Only two words, but what power! My mind immediately wants to sort it all out, muse upon it's mystery. But what better reply from The Great God to the one that's packed peace for the journey? Unlike that journey, these two words convey a settling in. Why else unpack unless to sit awhile, or long?

    Surely there will be more for you to relish as the unpacking begins.

    My oh my …


  4. Yes, we do have to unpack the wonderful gift so freely given! Here's to a blessed 2010; may we be blessings to others along the way.

    Thanks for visiting That Old House! And Happy New Year…

  5. Elaine, I think that through your continual "searching & questioning" of God in your life you have unpacked Him already.

    I can relate this to packing a suitcase for a trip. Most of the time I overpack and take things with me that I will never need. It ends up just being extra weight. I loose focus on what is truly important for my trip and get caught up in the "what if" I need this, or that, better bring it just in case.

    I think that our relationship with God is much the same way. Every day God packs our suitcases with what He knows is important for our journey that day. But sometimes we overlook the necessities and get hung up on the "extra weight" things, things that we don't really need or aren't important or healthy for us.

    I sense that maybe you think your suitcase is a little empty right now,or you sometimes can't even find it. I can relate. I sometimes feel like God is so far from me that I can't even begin to feel his presence. But I want to encourage you to keep digging a little deeper into that suitcase. Keep asking God those questions, keep asking to hear His voice. He has packed a wonderful array of goodies for you and for me to enjoy at just the right time.

    Joining with you in "unpacking" all that God has to offer us in 2010. I couldn't think of a better person I could travel with!!

    Love you sister!


  6. Oooh. Goosebumps. I just love it when He does that. Yes, He is near. I love this part:

    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.

    Happy new year, Faith Elaine. Love to you.

  7. I had chills, too, when I read that two word phrase underneath the picture…ready to unpack and
    unfold the glory!

  8. Unpack Me. Remove Me from the safety of the case that contains Me…the one you neatly folded Me in by your limited understanding. Empty Me before you. Know Me intimately. Strip away everything that hinders and conceals and seek My heart.

    Unpacking is work. Being intentional,

  9. I like the idea of unpacking…what a concept…What an extraordinary God…I am ready to journey through unpacking. Thanks for great food for thought.


  10. What a message…what an endeavor, to unpack our God. What a blessing that there is treasure for the unpacking to last a lifetime and the chest will never run-out until Glory.

    Unpacking with you, friend, in 2010!

  11. What an amazing experience. I, too, want to "unpack" Him in the weeks and months to come. I've started going through the "Jesus Calling" book you sent me. It is such an amazing perspective, to read as if He is the One speaking.

    Looking forward to a great year with our Lord.

  12. Thank you, dear Elaine, for sharing this powerful experience with us – and for reminding us to unpack our Lord this year. Joining with you, my friend!

  13. Oh Amen! Thank you Jesus for your VOICE to Elaine! You love to surprise us when we least expect it because you long for our lives to be joined to Yours at every moment – in wake or in slumber!

    Elaine – You will never forget this. The Lord has raised the bar one more notch! Now He desires for you to reach that bar – UNTIL – He raises it again – and thus—-

    …our sanctification process continues — our 'being made holy'… because He is holy!

    UNPACK Him yes, but ask Him now to explain that to you even more. He will blow you away with what He shows you over the next 4 months [the first season of this new year]. Give Him that much time to reveal what "Unpack Me" means in its fullest! As He does I guarantee there will be days and moments when you will barely be able to breathe in His Presence because you will feel His breath on your own neck – He'll be that close!

    I can't wait to see and hear what more He will reveal about this!

    One last note… the Lord knew that you would reveal this "word" – HIS WORD to us as well so all of us reading it – yes it is a call for us to Unpack Him too! And we can piggyback on you and ask Him to reveal things to us as well and I challenge all those reading this post – to ASK!!! He loves that!

    Choosing JOY, Stephanie
    JESUS ONLY in 2010

  14. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. God's multi-colored grace covers every variegated tests and trailsl we face as we attempt to traverse this minefield called "planet earth". We are aliens, pilgrims, strangers in a strange land trying to leave a mark for the Lord Jesus Christ and a testimony of HIs power to redeem a sinner like me and His ability to broker eternal life through a damaged earthen vessel.

    Blessings for a New Year as we walk in the paths that God has preordained for us to walk in!!! As Christian bloggers, let's blanket the blogosphere with praise to God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

  15. Elaine:
    I had recently commented on a page that I was looking at my BE STILL & KNOW THAT I AM GOD plaque in my office, and whereas I usually feel He is saying…Be Still… this time I am hearing KNOW that I am God! I think I will be 'unpacking' the KNOW GOD words in this coming year and I'm excited!

  16. Henri Nouwen refers to those moments when the past present and future come together–eternal moments–the fullness of time–our spirits connect with God. Heaven and earth collide. These moments will carry us through those times when He feels totally absent.
    Thanking God for His special 'gift' to you to carry you through.
    Love, Sita

  17. Wonderfully said. I'm excited to unpack him this year in my life. I think I got a peek today during church and memories I thought I'd buried with some not so pleasant emotions started to surface again:)

  18. I sometimes think I need God to "unpack me" with all my baggage. God is so good to give His beloved ones the moments of His presence that encourage our hearts and help our feet find their footing. I too seek to unpack this year and long to be rearranged in the process.

    Blessings Elaine.


  19. My spirit leapt at these words from our Father!! A God who knows us inside and out and invites us to know Him! A God who gives us dreams, visions, words, and knowledge of Him! I desperately want to "unpack Him" this new year. To know His secrets. To linger in the mystery that surrounds Him!

  20. What a gift… how precious each one of us is… and that you would share your moment with us.

  21. Elaine, God's power is overwhelming. I felt Him in your post as I read. He sure reaches out to touch our souls.

    I'm with you in the journey for 2010 in "unpacking God".

  22. Wonderful post! I love it when I find others who have heard "the Voice" and don't consider themselves insane. (It does not seem to be a common thing although maybe it is and people are just not listening.) That is why I sometimes greater comradeship among those in the blogosphere than those immediately around me (although I have to be quick to add that I have some great friends who live in my little town, which is a spiritual place by itself).

    Again, thank you so much for sharing so bravely an intimate experience. May God continue to bless you in like manner in 2010!

    Happy New Year!

  23. Wow! Those words give new meaning to a traveler in this world!

    Elaine, you will never finish un- packing Him on this side but I think His words to you are so incredible. I believe He will expand on this concept/direction MORE in 2010 with you. It is so profound. Sounds just like Him. BTW I told my pastor about you finding him on the www. He smiled at the compliment you passed on. Blessings, B

  24. I've spent the last week packing some things, unpacking others. I've bought storage containers and a label maker, trying to sort through and organize what I should keep and what I should let go.

    This post speaks to my heart in a powerful way. Perhaps God is telling me, through your message, that as I sort through the baggage in my life, I need to 'unpack' HIM and let go of all the unnecessary things that are cluttering my life. Those extras have a way of piling high, placing barriers between me and my Father.

    I'll be pondering this one for awhile, my friend…


  25. I love the many ways God finds to speak to us. What a blessing He gave you the other night — what an amazing God we have!

    So many different applications to "unpack me", aren't there? Happy to be walking with you in 2010, Elaine!

  26. OH YEAH!! I'm on board to unpack God in 2010! Oh, the possibilities… 🙂

    Prayers and blessings,

  27. To think that this is just the beginning of something great keeps me from sitting still! Happy New Year Elaine, it has truly been a blessing to get to 'know' you and read your heart poured out in words!

  28. I am so glad that you got up to hear Him. That is a deep well, the process of unpacking. I look forward to seeing this unfold for you this year.

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