I had a strange little encounter with God yesterday morning. I suppose it’s accurate to say that anytime flesh and bone are touched by infinite power it’s a bit of a jolt, but this was just plain quirky.
I was piloting the USS Suburban through the S curve on Red Bridge Road about 5:50am, heading to IHOP for the 6am prayer meeting. Typical for my eight minute commute, the CNN hourly podcast ended there. Normally I kick over to NPR for the short drive up the hill and into the parking lot, but as I hit the Source button on the stereo, my eyes caught the LED readout for a split second. It said, profoundly, I thought…STANDBY.
God doesn’t speak through the stereo, does He? And if He did, surely it would be with a song. Not the LED panel. What’s He going to say next? TREBLE? FADER?
I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I can read the handwriting on the LED, so I left the Source Selector in that position. STANDBY. I stood by as I drove up the hill. I grabbed my bag, walked into the prayer room and prepared to STANDBY.
You know, the kind that the guest speaker could wrap around a couple of cool stories about when he was your age and then convince you that you could walk on water next fall when school started? I dug out my Bible and found this classic STANDBY verse, Habakkuk 1:5
Look among the nations and watch – Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.
Thus would commence the sermonizing. Standby, God is going to blow your mind. Standby and be utterly astounded. You don’t have a clue what He has planned. Of course, we all assumed it was something to do with us, revival, and probably a certain measure of renown. Some for God, some for us. Jesse Dixon told us – we were destined to win.
…except that’s not what that verse means.
God was telling the people “You’re not going to believe what I’m about to do. I’m about to raise up the pagan kings for my own purposes, which include judging your nation for it’s sin.” It was not originally a Bible Camp Verse. It was written as a sober warning. Not even so much as a warning as a pronouncement. It was the ultimate in ‘Please Standby’. Minus the please.
I’m not sure what to make of all of it. I do know that the STANDBY message thumped me in the chest before the scripture came to mind. I wasn’t playing some weird Bible association game.
I also know what I feel…that if our nation were to undergo a severe trial in coming months or years, that it could be fully God causing it, and He’d be fully justified in doing so. I’m not trying to get my head around the specifics of what’s coming or how to thwart it – I think scripture’s accurate when it says that if He told us, we still wouldn’t believe it…but I am trying to adjust my theology to match scripture and the character of God rather than my preferred future.
Until next time, please STANDBY.
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