There is perhaps nothing more critically important in these perilous times than being assured of your intimate relationship with Jesus/Yeshua, your Redeemer. If you know about Him because you've heard about Him and have heard others talk about Him, then you don't yet know Him in the personal, intimate way that He desires. Many have asked me how I really know Jesus in this deeply personal way. Since I have had a couple of sweet, beautiful experiences with Him in this past week, I'd like to share them with you and hope you will share this with others. You might be surprised and amazed (as I am) at the unique ways our Lord chooses to interact with us and show us how much He wants to be a part of our everyday lives, thoughts, and experiences.
The first encounter was during a time of worship. I was in my living room, caught up into singing and worshiping the Lord with the music on my TV. As I was singing, I began to feel the gentle Presence of the Holy Spirit surrounding me, and then I heard the loud, insistent chirping of baby birds from inside the bird house on my front porch. I tiptoed to the front window, still quietly singing to the Lord, and to my delight, I saw a mama sparrow come gliding in, her mouth full of food for her tiny newborns. My heart began to overflow with this precious picture of faithful provision for the smallest creatures, when suddenly a new song flowed from my TV and I heard these words: "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me!"
Is He real? Was He attracted to my worship? Did He find a way to let me know that He was right there, watching me, enjoying my blessings in the feeding of baby sparrows? Some would laugh and call it a coincidence. I guess they do not yet know Him.
This second encounter was early this morning in my "prayer closet." I arose at 6:30 a.m. and knew that John was still sleeping, so I went downstairs with my Bible and my journal, to spend some quiet time in the Word and in prayer. My heart was really humbled and soft this morning, knowing I needed to pray for John. Communication and words are becoming more and more difficult for him. He tries to tell me something and he stands there for a long while, working hard to get the words to flow from his brain to his tongue, and finally gives up in frustration and says, "I can't get it out!" This morning I purposed to pray specifically for this terrible disability, asking God to heal my husband and to heal his speech and cause his words to flow!
I opened the Bible randomly, as I so often do, asking the Lord for help, and found it had opened to Judges Chapter 12. It is the story of Jephthah the Gildeadite, known in the Scripture as "a mighty warrior" (Judges 12:1). He is made a Commander of the Israelite Army and leads them into battle. I wasn't seeing anything that had to do with my prayer until I got to verses 4-5:
Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh.” The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him..."
I sat there for quite a while, stunned at this verse abut pronouncing a word correctly! Was this a coincidence? After all, this is an ancient story about a strategy used to tell who was genuinely an Ephraimite and who was not by their ability to pronunce the word shibboleth correctly. "But what does this word mean?" I wondered. After looking it up I found that the meaning is "flowing river"!
Is this a coincidence, or is the King of the Universe showing me that he hears my prayers over my husband, whose words cannot flow, and who stumbles over pronunciations?
I marvel over these small ways that He demonstrates His presence with me and His care over me. He wants to do this for and with you, too When you pray, don't forget to listen. And have your Bible handy! He may send you a song, or show you a verse, or just send warmth and comfort into your soul. However He chooses to do it, just know that it is His way of bringing you close, and teaching you to trust Him.
His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me!
Kelly Ferrari Mills