“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis
After a longer than usual drive back home to Oregon from the San Francisco Bay Area last night, my 5 a.m. alarm seemed to come early. I managed to make my way to the bathroom for a quick shower to wake up, throw on my workout clothes and mix my pre-workout drink to get my all important caffeine infusion before heading out the door.
As we were driving home yesterday, we received word that the back sprinkler had been left on under the trampoline and our neighbor had just turned it off. It was Thursday evening….we left for the Bay Area the previous Saturday….Sean and his buddy had forgotten to turn it off after playing on Friday….with the way our house is perched on a hillside and without a good visual I had never even thought to check. So, we had water running for a week….probably not the best time for my eleven year old boy to be trapped in the back seat of the car for a long ride home….
As I drove to the gym this morning and began to feel my pre-workout kick in, I was lamenting about how I could have handled that situation better with my son. Hindsight is always 20/20, right? I was doing a pretty good job of beating myself up in my mind over this. Not to mention that I also was reflecting on the fact that I was so upset and distracted about the water, that I had completely passed up on an opportunity outside of a Starbucks, to help or even share a kind word with some people that really looked like they could have used it. Needless to say, I was really disappointed in myself and the devil was doing a great job reminding me of all of this….
I got out of the car, grabbed my shaker cup and began to head toward the entrance when I quickly glanced down at my phone to check the time…. 5:55.
In scripture when Jesus was trying to emphasize something, he often repeated it three times. So here I was with three number 5’s staring me in the face….and I thought to myself, “I wonder what significance the number five has in the Bible?” Seemingly random, I know but I decided to go with the prompting in my mind. I googled it and this is what I learned: The number five signifies the completed covenant of grace. I paused and then googled Bible chapter/verses that were 55:5 (God ordained, momentary dyslexia, maybe?). The first and only two that I read were:
“Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.” Psalms 55:5
“Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Isaiah 55:5
God was speaking and I was listening.
I was discouraged. He was building me up. I saw myself falling short. He was reminding me of His grace. I was feeling “less than”. He was reminding me, in a symbolic way, of who I really was in Him.
Recently when I was praying I had said, “Jesus, I really want to be Your friend,” and over coffee with my brother recently I told him, “When I meet Jesus in Heaven someday I hope he calls me ‘Bobby’ (because that is what my closest family and oldest friends still call me).” I believe this is God answering these very thoughts and prayers.
As I continue to walk with God, I see and hear Him more and more. I actually expect to hear Him now (but I am sometimes caught off guard by how He chooses to speak). I expect Him to show up. I expect to interact with Him. He continues to develop my faith through these moments and now I can say that I am beginning to recognize how close He really and truly is to us. In every breathtaking and mundane moment, He is there. We just need to pay attention.
“You must be willing to suspend what you imagine you already know about God in order to know God as you never imagined.” Neale Donald Walsch