IT HAPPENED IN THE BOOKSTORE
by Charles Robey
(Trussville. AL USA)
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)
I'm sure glad our book store will be closed this weekend for inventory, for I surely need the extra rest. I'm just burnt out, and I have five years to go till retirement. So, I think I'll just retire to bed a little early tonight. I had no more hit the sack, so to speak, till it all happened. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
I found myself in a rather large book store. Looking around the store, my eye happened to catch a rather weird sight. A large grouping of individuals were earnestly browsing through the calendar section of the store. There were people of all ages and dress styles with some obviously of a variety of financial salability.
What was so unusual about this picture was that the group of people standing in front of the calendars all had a certain advanced date printed on their shirts. And they seemed to be seriously in search of a calendar whose contents matched the dates on their shirts.
Then to add to the mystery of this setting, one of the individuals, who seemed to be the leader of the group, broke from the scene. Walking over to me, he instantly began a conversation as if he had known me forever. What was more mysterious about this one man was that the date inscription on his shirt had no year, only a big question mark.
"Sir, who are you, and what's this all about? And what's with the question mark, replacing a particular year on your shirt inscription?" I said, reacting to his presence.
"Well, my son, as you probably have noticed, all these people are searching for a certain calendar date matching the date on their shirt, as if to find out about their final date."
"But Sir, no one knows that answer, aside from our Creator", I replied.
"You are absolutely right, my son. But doesn't the Scripture teach us to number our days, to make our plans wisely?” he came back with a quick response. (Psalm 90:12).
Without any hesitation and without wavering, he went right into his sermon mode. "You see, my son, we all should be taught to wisely number our days. We should all be prepared. In other words, we should not just waste time waiting to see what our days will bring. We should prepare for any given situation to happen."
"But how can I do that?" I replied. "I don't really have a say in the matter."
"Simply by prayer. Pray for your future days. Pray that you will be given the strength to handle the bad, as well as the good days, that are ahead," he replied.
"But sir, you obviously know I can't physically determine what will happen," I argued.
"It doesn't matter what may happen. You simply commit your future to God to bring about what is good. Then, whatever may come, trust your heavenly Father. Leave it all in His hands by prayer. And above all, be prepared by your dedicated prayer and supplication. Give your heavenly Father a chance to turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones," he answered.(1Cor 10:13)
"What about all those poor people milling over by the calendars?"
"Don't you worry, they will also get the message, as did you. It may take a little soul searching as they mill through all those calendars. But by divine help, it will all work out for them. You can count on it," he concluded."Well then, thank you for your help, whomever you may be.” However, my thanks failed to take hold, as he was gone. Disappeared in a twinkle of an eye, and so did my apparent dream. Or should I say vision?
What was so strange, as I sat up in my bed, lying beside me was a calendar, the one I had misplaced. The one with all my important assignments and pending projects. Am I lucky, I thought. However, when I started going through the calendar, all the pages were blank. There was no help in sight; no easily determined, understandable help, that is.
So, I shouted in my anger. I just couldn't help but shout it out, wondering what was happening. What am I to do now that I have no plan B for my life?
Then, as if by divine direction, I was forced to go to my den bookshelf, in hopes of finding my calendar notes. And lying there on the shelf was Mom's big, old family Bible; the one that went missing at the time she was called home to glory land.
As I picked up her Bible, it mysteriously opened to a particular section. And tucked between the pages was a handwritten note from Mom, along with a certain Bible passage that had been highlighted. Thus, I feel led to share them with you, for they instantly changed my life. The Scripture passage and note were as follows:
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9)
"Dear Son, I trust you will find this note before it is too late for you. You thought I was sleeping, all those nights I retired early to bed. However, I was simply talking with your and my heavenly Father, making pleas for your future. So please consider this Scripture for your life.
Did I respond to Mom's calling? You bet your glory boots I did, but it was very difficult reading through those big tears.
"Pastor, pastor are you home, we need to talk ASAP!”
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." (Joel 2:28)
What do you dream? Are your dreams realistic? Do they give you guidance? Professional dream interrupters tell us we all dream something every night, and that some dreams we may remember rather vividly, whereas others we never remember. Yes, I can relate to this statement, been there and done that. So my question is, does your Creator ever give you divine help or instructions for your life through a dream or vision?
Being that I am older than dirt, and twice as gritty, I can now assume that I am in the Scriptural dream category. Amen!
From Psalm 139 alone, we can be encouraged knowing that God is One who knows all about us. Even in our dreams, He:
Searches us and knows us from the inside out (Psalm 139:1)
Knows our every action and thought (Psalm 139:2-3)
Knows what we will say before we say it (Psalm 139:4)
Follow us everywhere we go (Psalm 139:8-12)
Formed us and watched over us while we were in the womb (Psalm 139:13-15)
Wrote out our life story in His book before we even lived it (Psalm 139:16)
Thinks innumerable thoughts of us (Psalm 139:17-18)
Knows our anxieties (Psalm 139:23)
Convicts us of our offenses and leads us in the right direction (Psalm 139:24)
This above Psalm reminds us that God is more intimately acquainted with our circumstances than we will ever be, and that He is tracking our whereabouts when we can't. Maybe even in our dreams. Amen!
" For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."(Isaiah 43:3)