Here I Am
I believe God likes to use how you respond best to speak with you and spend time with you. When I used to go to Central Christian College of the Bible I had this weird habit of sometimes waking up at two or three in the morning for no apparent reason. It was like a different world- a magical, still, silent world. The hum of the heater- the creak of the windows in the cold winter wind. The hall lights were dimmed and the distant street lights pooled in pale yellow puddles. I would get up and throw on my robe to offset the cold rooms and quietly creep past my roommate’s computer with its flickering glow out into the hall… for awhile, someone had providentially sneaked up an entire couch by the window near the stairwell- and I would prop my chilly feet up over the radiator and watch the silent snow sparkle in the fields down below. I dont know how long I gazed- but I felt like I the whole moment was being shared with me by God.
Odds are we pass things by so fast which are sacred. Holy. Moments jam packed everywhere in which God is trying to share with us- places and encounters which all can bring us into closer communion with God. There is a particular moment in the Bible where this happens-
Moses and the Burning Bush
4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
5 “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
There is an idea with some Old Testament scholars which suggest it wasnt just because the ground where Moses was standing was holy- it was how the whole Earth was holy- and Moses had just been told. Imagine.
Wherever you are- whatever you’ve done- God is with you- he is for you- he is ahead of you pulling you- onwards and upwards.
Another place in the Bible where this night calling kinda like mine happens is in
1 Samuel 3
The Lord Speaks to Samuel
2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle[a] near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”
“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5 He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.
6 Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”
Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”
7 Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. 8 So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”
Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.
10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
Moses was working.
Samuel was trying to sleep.
So often it’s second nature to separate the sacred and the ordinary-
the divine and the every day.
One of the reasons I love coming here on Sunday is because I sit in the back. And while sitting in the back I get a view of everything. And each service there is usually time when I look up and see us all singing or giving prayer requests or seeing the sun flickering on the floor and I can feel the holiness- the sacredness- the specialness. And if I’ve learned anything about this is that what Im really chasing is Joy. And through chasing Joy, Im really chasing God, because at the heart of my joy God is there. Calling me. Spending time- putting the simplest good things here for me, just for simple pleasure and amusement. This holiness is not reserved for certain times or places- it’s all over the place.
One of the other times I randomly woke up at Central- I woke up about 5 or 6 am- which is really stinking early for a college kid… across the yard from where my dorm was, there was the bus depot for all the Moberly school buses- all steaming and rumbling out to deliver kids to classes. Right then and there, as I gazed out, there was a magnificent golden-red sunrise. And as the rosy dawn slowly spread her fingers across the lawn- I felt like I was seeing the sun coming up over the rim of the world for the very first time. I happened to pick up my bible and I stumbled across this verse in Psalms 37:
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Like what you read? Join in with your own insights, stories and art- send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and God bless -Ryan