God got me with flowers. My burning bush so to speak was wild and purple/blue, blooming along the roads and the lava rock meadows of Iceland. It was the tipping point of a multitude of times where the Lord used something unexpected to encounter me.
The Bible is filled with the most surprising, fantastic, and at times terrifying moments where God breaks through our definition of reality and inserts a glimpse of his perspective.
I mean, think of all the moments we read of like wrestling with God, burning bushes, parting waters, raining bread, crumbling walls, scarlet cords, redemptive love, a nighttime voice, falling giants … and that’s just a sample of stories up through 1 Samuel.
But we are all invited to experience God firsthand in ways that may take place outside of our boxes. Here are a few of my personal moments of firsthand encounter.
Jesus in the airport
The Lord brought healing to my heart almost fifteen years ago when He showed me a memory of being lost in an airport as a child. In that scene, I saw Jesus take my hand and lead me back to my mother. I didn’t have to agree with rejection or abandonment anymore.
No Man’s Land
If you saw Wonder Woman several years ago, do you remember the scene where she decides to step forward and fight when no one else wanted to? It undid me. God used it to help me open up to my husband about my struggle in moving to Iceland.
The Green House
A dream I had one night of a green house after a week of prayer became a physical reality that we walked into two months later. God brought it to pass down to specific details and the provision we needed.
Remember those flowers I mentioned earlier? In a prayer meeting four years ago, a friend shared a vision she had of my husband and I standing in a field of flowers that were purple-blue and seemed to be shaped like arrows. She had no idea of our prayers toward Iceland, or how much those flowers, Lupina, stood out to me on our last trip to visit. That moment changed everything for us.
When these moments take place there is no room for pride or agenda, just kneeling. I position my heart under the shadow of those wings that have chosen to shelter me. Okay, I admit it, sometimes the kneeling is more like weeping, falling to my face with tears and snot running into eyebrows and hairlines.
Lord, you love me enough to not let me stay the way I’ve been. You interrupted my life to bring a change that I may not have intentionally walked in.
There are times I admittedly have tried to avoid the encounters. Maybe you have too. What if He tells us to do something we are not equipped for? Or what if He sends us to a place where we can’t quite see the light at the end but we can no longer fathom the place we began? But I think that’s the point. Those are the moments where God bursts on the scene of his people and consistently says, “I am with you.”
Our family history as believers is full of reminders that God is in the business of being sought out, but also in making himself known. It was His intention to not just perform amazing miracles to deliver his people from Egypt, but to bring them to himself.
Just think about the fact that the God who created the entire universe would interrupt our daily schedule to approach us in the most magnificent ways. Sharing His grace and love, tinged with irrevocable purpose. That purpose, beyond the comfort or correction or care that takes place is the call to be with Him. To know Him for ourselves. To be assured that He is so close to us and will never leave us.
Personal, firsthand encounters allow us to put roots down in the promises of God. When circumstances come that try to dismantle what we’ve heard, it’s those moments where we encountered the living God that keep us encouraged.
I would dare say that most of us who engage with the Velvet Ashes community have had some kind of experience with God that positioned us for where we are now.
The Lord broke through our normal schedule, meeting us in ways that we couldn’t recover from.
He is so good to us like that. Using the grandest gestures to display His love.
The Lord met me with purple flowers, Wonder Woman, a dream of a green house and continues to do so much more.
What has God used to get your attention and draw you close to him?