Random Little Thoughts: The Number 4
God is really funny because he knows how my mind works. He knows that I look for signs of His presence and His voice everywhere. He knows it’s a way I feel love from Him, noticed by Him, close to Him. Tonight He showed me His closeness as He always does, and made me laugh. Really laugh.
I regularly read a devotional called Charlyne Cares (part of Rejoice Marriage Ministries), which gets emailed to me daily. Each Saturday is a collection of stories, real people writing in about how God is moving, how He is restoring broken marriages… ev…ery…where. All the time. (Isn’t that awesome?)
Anyway, as I was in my faith room today, I was wondering how to start my time with Him. I kind of listlessly went to my email inbox (as I tend to do)… then saw the Saturday testimony devotional at the top of the queue. Hm… I felt moved to read it, and a sense of quiet. Ok, cool. This is good. I’m focused. Will you show me a sign, God? That you know I’m reading these? That you’re here?
The 4th one. The number 4. That was the number that popped to mind. Cool! Lord, do you have something for me in the 4th testimony? (Normally there are 15-20 testimonies). That would be awesome. I trust you. So, I read with eager anticipation. 1st, 2nd, 3rd… ok, here goes. The 4th one.
Shoot. It’s about a woman on mother’s day whose husband came over for dinner and talked with her kids.
I’m not moved. Just disappointed. But, wait, I had noticed that the whole testimony page had started with MY verse, the one I had first experienced God with when I was 12 – Psalm 40. Is there something you have for me in that, Lord? That had caught my attention.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
That’s neat, God. At least there’s that. I kept reading. Huh… funny. There’s another one! Psalm 46, the chapter He put on my heart in 2010 before everything happened with my marriage.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
That’s also the main verse displayed on my center wall in my faith room, which I have really just started using. What are you up to? Then another verse, and another one! Oh my word! God, you are filling this one Saturday devotional with ALL the key verses you’ve led me to on my journey! Wait… except one. Ephesians 2:16. What about that one, God? You know it’s a key verse for me. That must be in here. I’m sure that’s the one you have for me at the end of the devotional.
I kept reading, and at the end, didn’t dare to look, not wanting to be disappointed again, then I peeked. . . It was NOT Ephesians.
Oh well, at least You reminded me of some truths from this journey. That was neat. Pause. Scanning over the devotional again. Gosh, there were a bunch. Looking over each verse until I got back up to the top.
Then it hit me.
I had been counting. One, two, three, four. FOUR! There were FOUR key verses in the devotional. FOUR… the number that I had in my mind as I had started reading. Ephesians would have made it five, so of course it wasn’t there.
I laughed out loud. A long laugh. A laugh with God. I savored each of those 4 verses, and drank them in like water, knowing they were His verses for me tonight.
He always does that! Pulls in a twist at the end that is better than what I had thought! He keeps me hanging, then comes in right at the right moment.
I love laughing with God. He’s hilarious. He’s so close. He knows how our minds work, and enters our thoughts and our funny little world and shows us He’s there.
Maybe you’re scratching your head going, “What is Corrie talking about?” Well, my point is that we can ask God for signs that He is “around”, that we are on the right track. Gideon did. He put a wool blanket outside overnight…twice…to see if God would make it stay wet, then dry! Now that’s a bit random.
It’s different to know in your head that God is close than to actually experience it. God’s voice is real. Go ahead. Ask for a sign. See what He does. Pay attention to your random little thoughts. He does.
He is intimately familiar with each one.
[P.S. A few days later at small group, the leader told us to open to Ephesians 2. We normally take turns reading aloud, and I volunteered for the second half: verses 11-22. When I got to verse 16, I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time as I realized the connection and God’s perfect timing.]