My husband has a secretary who says she has seen a ghost. I know that some of you when you read that statement want to laugh in disbelief, while others acknowledge that it could be true. Truth is, I really don't know what I think. She honestly believes she saw one, who am I to tell her she didn't?
I see these shows on TV all the time where people have powers and premonitions or are able to see into other worlds and talk to the dead. I don't really believe in all of that or if it does exist, I don't believe it is of Christ. However, "seeing the future" has come to actually mean something to me. Am I saying that I can see into the future? No. What I am saying is that I believe that my Lord talks to me, and when I actually listen, sometimes he does allow me to know when something is going to happen.
After all, I believe in the Bible, a great book that shows my Lord speaking through a burning bush, in dreams and through angels. I believe that he is the same God today, and could decide to communicate in those same ways if he wanted to. I think our problem is this; we don't always stop and listen. Our world is full of too many distractions, that we don't always "notice" the presence of God when he comes talking.
What I do know is that throughout my life, I've had "encounters," moments when I felt I was being warned or encouraged to pray. Moments that couldn't have come from anywhere else but God. Sometimes it is a nervous feeling, sometimes it is a dream and often it is like a whisper in my ear, telling me to pray.
My first "God moment" happened when I was in the eighth grade. My family was living overseas in the country of Bangladesh, where my parents were missionaries. One night I woke up from a dream crying. I still remember the dream as if it was yesterday, it was so real. I was riding in a car with my Granny and my older cousin Lynnette, when all of a sudden the road disappeared underneath us. We all started falling. My Granny was crying, calling out for my cousin. My cousin had disappeared and I felt lost and alone. I remember waking up wondering why I had such a traumatic dream. The next morning, I was called into my parent's office, to find my mother crying. They had received a telegram; my cousin had died in a car accident. That dream foreshadowed the next few years and my relationship with my Granny. She had a really hard time recovering from my cousin's death and I was the one who suffered from her grief. Although, my Granny and I would become close again, before she died, I truly believe to this day that God was warning me that my next few years with her were going to be rocky. Now when I wake up from a dream, such as that one, I pray for guidance.
My God moments don't always come in dreams. For example, when I was a student at college, I started feeling real nervous one day. You can ask my husband, I was really starting to freak out, worried that something was wrong. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't relax. I kept calling home, which made it worse, because no one would answer (and this was before we all had cell phones!). All I could do was pray. My mom finally called me the next day (I could have shot them!). My sister had been in a car accident. The funny thing is, I started "freaking out" before the accident happened. God was telling me to pray.
Sometimes, God just blesses me with special moments. This month was my dear, sweet Nanny's birthday. She went home to be with the Lord, last year, after a lot of pain and suffering. The Lord allowed me to see her at her most peaceful moment. I was at her house, with many other family members. We knew it wouldn't be long, for she was ready to go and was off all her meds. I had been asleep on the love seat in the living room, when I felt like someone was waking me up. However, when I woke up and rubbed my eyes, noon was there. I looked around and everyone was dozing in their chairs, my mom and dad were asleep in the bedroom. I walked into her room, where my cousin was taking care of her, and sat down in the chair at a the end of her bed. As I watched her, I prayed. she longed for peace. Actually it was the most peaceful I had heard her breathing in a long time. And then it stopped. I had just experienced my Nanny going to be with her Lord. That was precious... I still thank God, to this day, for waking me up.
These are just a few examples of moments when I know God was talking to me. I have to wonder how many others there have been, that I have missed, because I wasn't listening. Every once in a while, I feel the need to call someone, hold someone a little tighter or tell someone that I love them. When I get those feelings, I listen. Just the other day, I felt the need to pray for my daughter, turns out it was an incident with a mean girl that brought tears to her eyes that day, and she really needed that mommy hug when I got home. I was glad I had listened.
So, do I believe in ghosts? Not really. However, I do believe in God. And I guess we had better keep our ears and eyes open, because He will find a way to communicate with us, when He needs us to listen.
*** I need to add this footnote. I wrote this post yesterday. I saved it, instead of sharing it because I was confused as to why I had written it in the first place. I now know why. This afternoon a nineteen year old boy in our town was killed in a terrible car accident. Although he did not belong to our youth group, he did go to the church that I work at. He must have been an incredible young man, for hundreds of kids showed up at the hospital. They moved them to his home church and started calling in the student ministers, like my husband, from around town to come in and counsel and pray. Although our boy's Bible study was cancelled for tonight, we still had the girl's Bible study. As I was sitting in my small group, listening to these young hearts vent over what had just taken place, I heard one of them explain how she had felt something was going to happen all weekend, had heard a voice telling her to pray. I smiled. She had had a "God moment." And I had the day before, been a little inspired to write my own thoughts down, so I could support her with hers. Wow! Isn't our God incredible?