The Lord had ministered to me through Psalm 31 on Monday. But there was a phrase that I haven’t experienced or lived out much, it is in verse 16 “Make Your face to shine upon Your servant”
I awoke asking for His face to shine upon me. Unusual way to wake up, but really, it was His face shining on me before I knew what end was up.
I walked the dog, then I walked to my living room, work from home office. In the afternoon, I met a man who was a pastor to me 20 years ago. I had contacted him because I thought that he might be a link to someone open to the Lord who has significant financial means. But, I also knew that he was a good man. He was probably the first pastor that I had who was younger than me. God used him to speak some words of life into my life. And I am grateful. Just seeing him as another shining. We dropped back into our modes quite quickly. He was listening and asking a lot of good questions, and I was telling my story. Since he had invited me to the meeting. And since I was back in “flock” mode I let him be in charge of the time. Time ran out while he was still asking questions, so I walked with him to a nearby shop where his car was being serviced. We talked a little and prayed for each other as we walked. I was a little sad that we didn’t get a chance to reverse roles, where he could talk about his adventure. He hasn’t been a pastor in over 10 years.
Walking back to my car, I noticed that I was missing my cell phone. His face shining upon me was that I was at peace. I have sensitive work communications on there, and contact information for various people in law enforcement, and in government agencies.
Being without a cell phone means being without a phone as I no longer have a land line. And, with the pandemic, much face to face communication has been switched to email, zoom, slack, and cell phone. Still, I had peace.
Then, I thought that if I texted the offer of a reward to the phone, if a kid picked it up and was waffling about turning it in versus selling it, I figured that I could make the good choice attractive. So I rushed home, and texted my phone from my son’s phone. I also logged into iCloud, and did the “Find my iPhone” and found that it was several blocks north of the furthest point north that I had been. My heart sank a little. Then I got a text back on my son’s phone that the person had already turned it in to the local police, located about where iCloud had put it.
So, after initially being relieved that it was found (the next sense of His face shining on me), I got a nudge from Holy Spirit, and offered the reward again. He declined. I mentioned the nudge by Holy Spirit, and said that the Lord knows his needs, even his future needs. This text conversation was really the another time of His face shining on me, as I was doing what I knew to be right, while respecting the other person’s right to choice. And I was sharing God’s goodness, and knowledge of the person and their situation. Eventually, his final answer was to decline, stating that he had all that he needed.
And then I sense the Lord’s face shining upon me again, with a “well done” as well as the financial blessing.
Later that evening, I was able to share that experience when a friend from the Thursday morning group called me. So, the Lord does weave bright threads of His face shining on me to sustain me. Some things are long and tough, but I am here.
And that reminds me again of the refrains in a songs, JJ Heller has a song which is called “Daylight” the beginning lyrics are:
I’ve been afraid for so long
I’ve prayed so many times to be strong
I stay here in the desert
Making circles in the sand
But you’re telling me that you’re the promised land
There is an inch of daylight underneath the door
It’s enough for me to fill up my canteen
Food and water are only buying time
If I want to live
Your love is what I need …
I honestly have been surviving on the inch of daylight, or light, or glimpses of God. Don’t get me wrong. Where I came from in the western institutional church, we had a daylight of His love, but it seemed that it was often cloudy.
At this point it is not clear to me. Some people talked about God, and about Holy Spirit, and getting to know Him, but they often turned their limited knowledge into a box to put Him in.
I have become more aware of my own ignorance. So it is not as clear if I am just putting Him in a different box of my making. But I love His face shining on me. I don’t want it to stop.
The feeling of the “well done” also reminded me of something that I often experience for others, but not as often for myself. I know that it sounds a little weird, but God reveals to me when He is smiling, or beaming. When I sense Him smiling, I often relate it to whomever He is smiling at, and then often that opens the door to give additional revelation to them about God’s heart towards them, and His thoughts about them. So in those cases, His face shines upon me to shine through me. I am blessed. It is just a different, wonderful way of getting to know God, and experiencing His heart.