1. I LOVE to read.
2. I LOVE to read.
3. From time to time, especially after I finish one book, I love to pray and ask The Lord if there is a specific book on his heart for me to read in the season of life I am in. I do not get an answer to that question very often, but when I do, it tends to be quite significant and transformational.
4. Receiving a book is a love language type of event for me (this only makes sense if you have read Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages)
Month and months ago (I don’t even remember how long), I was talking, among other things, about books. I mentioned to this individual that the book that has really been on my mind/heart is Billy Graham’s Just As I Am. That was the end of it. If I remember correct, I might have even went to a few thrift stores to see if I could find a used copy (where I buy all my books). After a few days, I forgot about that conversation and even the book itself. It passed from my mind.
And then yesterday happened.
I came home and there was a book sitting on our kitchen table turned upside down. It was really thick. I turned it over and was stunned in silence. This book that had passed from my mind was in my hands. I looked at my wife (she had no idea about my thoughts or conversation with someone months earlier about this book) shocked, fighting back tears. I was speechless. Since she didn’t know about my thoughts or comments from months before, she thought it was just another book. That is, until I told her. She then entered my joy, this divine moment of significance and intimacy between Daddy God and I. You see, for the last two months I have been really battling dark thoughts and dark feelings. At one point, I even told my wife, “Allison, I just feel at times that there is darkness inside of me.” A battle has been raging. I can’t explain it. Everything on the outside is great. But inside, it has taken everything in me to stay with Jesus. Why? Because I have at times felt so, so, so discouraged and depressed. Why? I have learned that when you are feeling things this strong and cannot pinpoint one particular reason why, it is spiritual. It is a spiritual attack from a real enemy, i.e., Satan. What is needed in these situations is not introspection, but a fighting type of prayer. Anyways, I just couldn’t shake what I was feeling.
And then, yesterday happened.
Remember how I love to read? Remember how, season after season, I pray to God inviting him to personalize my reading list? I always have the thought that he may have something specific that he wants to minister/impart/deposit in my life. When I explained everything to Allison, she told me the rest of the story. Earlier that day, Allison said that she heard a loud thud on the front porch. She went out and found this book. She said she really didn’t even get a good look at the person or car. She had an idea, but nothing too certain. The person departed to quickly. I am sure it was probably the person I had the conversation with (thought I cannot remember who it was for sure), but this does not make the event any less supernatural for me. You see, it is a timing issue. I needed something fresh for my secret time with The Lord. I needed something different to help me connect with God in a personal way.
When I opened the cover, I saw “$4.” I am pretty sure this person, knowing I love cheap used books, found this book discounted somewhere. In other words, it was a random pile (or shelf) of books somewhere. This person “happen” to find this specific book at a time when I have needed a significant spiritual recharge. And because I love to read and pray all the time for God to “assign” me a specific book, immediately I was overwhelmed with the personal, intimate nature of this gift. Daddy shouted to me through this book, “I LOVE YOU.” Yes, Lord, you really do. I know you do.
My faith has exploded. I am so excited because not only did God love on me in one of my personal love languages, but I also feel confident that this book is for this time in my life. It is a timing thing. There is something God is going to do in me and eventually, through me because of this book. In other words, what God has really handed me is a book of divine appointments. He will encounter me, fill me, refresh me, remind me, and prepare me through this specific book in this specific season. God is so personal, so intimate, and loves to love on us in an intimate, individualist fashion.
I started reading this morning!