Posts Tagged ‘words of knowledge’

Jo 12I missed my friend’s phone call about how her job interview had gone, so my husband passed on her message.

‘On the morning of the interview, she woke up laughing’ he said. ‘She’ll tell you the rest on Sunday.’

I smiled to myself. It sounded good news to me, as I remembered what had transpired after she had asked two of us to pray for her at church the previous Sunday. She had told us how she was feeling about the interview and how it had been a challenging task to compile her resumé, after not having done so for years. So together we bowed our heads and began praying.

Straight away, the other lady present asked God for deep peace for our friend, for the ability to sense God’s presence with her at the interview and for a clear mind to answer any questions put to her. But as I stood there agreeing with her prayer, I found myself feeling more and more joyful. In fact, I almost burst out laughing! What was I to do?

In the end, I prayed for our friend to have a good night’s sleep and wake up on the morning of the interview feeling joyful and refreshed. Then I shared with her how I sensed so much joy surrounding this interview that I had almost laughed aloud! I also told her that I felt she would find herself saying something at one point that she had not expected to say at all—and that, when she did, those interviewing her would heave a sigh of relief, laugh together and say, ‘That’s exactly what we wanted to hear!’ Yet, even as I shared these things, I wondered if they were from God at all or if I had simply imagined them.

How reassuring it was then to see her beaming face last Sunday, as she came to tell me what had happened! Yes, she said, she had indeed woken up laughing on the day of the interview. In fact, she had had a dream during the night that she arrived for the interview in old clothes and with just thongs on her feet. In the dream, she had apologised, but the interviewers had laughed and assured her it didn’t matter!

In the actual interview, however, when asked what she would do if she encountered something she had not dealt with before, my friend, without thinking, simply raised her left arm high, waved it around and let out an anguished ‘Help!’

At that point—you guessed it—the interviewing panel laughed and said, ‘That’s the best answer we could ever have hoped to hear!’

But wait, there’s more! For a long time, my friend has had problems with her left arm—yet this was the arm she had used, with no trouble at all, to raise and wave around enthusiastically!

Yes, Jesus, our Saviour, our Immanuel, has come into this world. Our God is with us, in the midst of our joy—and in the midst of our pain. Our God is with us, whatever our situation. Our God is with us, to the end of all time.

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:25

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Berthelsen-4Don’t you love it when people take the time to email or phone to encourage you in the midst of life’s ups and downs? In recent weeks, I have come to value afresh this caring connection with others and the love of those in the body of Christ in particular.  A precious gift indeed.

Recently, a good friend sent me an email, telling me she felt God was going to give me a ‘rooftop view’ and reminding me of Peter’s rooftop experience in Acts 10. She also expressed the hope and prayer that, as I am by necessity less mobile because of my current back issues and have the opportunity to be quiet, I would draw comfort from the Lord’s presence, be renewed, and enjoy being hidden and shaded by his hand. How blessed am I to have received such loving words and to have now experienced some part at least of the things she wrote about! I value this time on my ‘rooftop’, despite the physical discomfort, and look forward to any insights the Lord wants to give me. And I certainly value being shaded by the Lord’s hand. I have always loved Psalm 91, which now has even more meaning for me:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Ps 91:1-2

I love that mixture of gentle protectiveness but also great strength that these words convey. Over the years, at certain times of need in my own life when I have cried out to the Lord in prayer and also as I have prayed with and for others, I believe God has given me a glimpse of what this looks and feels like. I can remember clearly several occasions when, in the midst of praying, I have seen in my mind a picture of Jesus standing right beside me or the person I am praying for, yet also towering above us, huge in stature, so strong and immovable, yet also so caring and watchful and protective on our behalf.

And this is what I saw again as I sat in God’s presence on my ‘rooftop’ recently. There was Jesus, so strong and tall and trustworthy, assuring me of his love and his protection and also conveying to me that he knew all about my physical pain. Next, I believe I saw him pick me up and carry me to an operating table in a hospital, where he laid me down carefully. Then in my mind I saw him place his hand gently on my head and also on the head of my neurosurgeon standing nearby, ready to operate. It was as if Jesus was saying, ‘I know about all this. I am here. I bless you both.’

What a comforting and reassuring sequence of events! Perhaps you may feel it was only my imagination running away with me—and that may well be the case. Yet I believe the Lord does reveal himself in these ways at times, of which this was one. And how gracious he is to do that.

I hope you have a rooftop too. I hope you meet the Lord there. I hope you hear and see him speak to you—often.

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