Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In His presence

This is a long one, but I feel called to share, so here it is.......

As mentioned previously in my post about the homeless handout, I told a little bit about a guy named Mark. Even now, as I think about him, I can recall exactly what he looked like--brown, shoulder length hair, layer upon layer of clothing that was slightly dirty and worn, stocking cap with ear flaps and the most piercing gray eyes. My conversation with Mark turned out to be one I will never forget.

I'm going to share some stuff on here that miiiiiiiiight make people think I'm crazy. And that's okay, because it's my blog and my thoughts :) But I'll try to start at the beginning........

For awhile now, I've felt like God has been telling me that I need to start paying attention. To what, exactly, I wasn't 100% sure. It's just this little nudge that I get from Him from time to time that makes me think I need to perk up my ears and listen and learn. See, I've always been one of those people who would rather not watch the news because I'd rather be happy than informed. I don't WANT to know about the downfall of our government because then I might have to face reality (which I don't do very well :)). I hate hearing about school shootings and wars breaking out and devastation because it reminds me of what the world has become. I live a fairly drama-free and fulfilling life and I like to keep it that way. When I see all those things, they tend to weigh me down and I dwell on them for days and I hate that.

Then, awhile back, we started watching that show Dooms Day Preppers. Now, some of those people are nuts. And while we were watching it, I would think how crazy they were to spend thousands of dollars on things they may not ever use. However, I would also feel my heart quicken a little and a nudge in the back of my mind to pay attention--to glean information from them and learn what I could. I've tried to ignore it because I don't want to have to BE prepped for anything. I don't want to think about the type of situation that would require months worth of stocked up food and water. So I went about my business.

THEN, a few weeks before Christmas, a friend of mine was telling me about some dreams her dad had that he felt like were from God. He's had several in the past and some of them have come true and some haven't. His dreams were telling him to be prepared, spiritually and physically. He felt like a great devastation (not necessarily the end of the world, but something big) was coming. God kept telling him, "I gave Joseph 7 years to prepare; I'm giving you 10." He was getting the date 5/7/21. God was telling him to start stocking supplies; food, water, medical supplies, stuff to barter, etc. God told him we would have years of cold winters and no electricity. When I read the email he'd sent out about all of his dreams, I got the chills and an overwhelming sense of despair. My heart felt heavy and burdened and I couldn't think of anything else for days. I've honestly always been scared of the "end of the world" or whatever you want to call it. Even thinking about God coming back scares me. Which is terrible, because I know it's going to be a good thing, but I think it's just the fear of the unknown. And I think about all of the people I know who aren't saved and that makes me even more scared of it. This email didn't help with those feelings.

I talked to Nick about all of it and we discussed possibly starting to stock up non-perishables and water. Our thought was even if this guy's dream didn't come, it's a good idea to have some kind of emergency supply of food and water in the case of a natural disaster. And if we stocked up on stuff we use regularly anyways, we wouldn't be wasting anything because we could just rotate it out. We didn't really do anything other than talk, even though it was constantly on the back of my mind.

But the final straw was Mark. We were getting ready to go back to our cars after we had handed out everything we had to the homeless. We got to a corner and were waiting for traffic to pass by when a homeless man walked up to us. He started giving us a hard time about not having anything left to give him. I distinctly remember him saying, "You don't even have a little change to spare for a vagrant?" A vagrant, by definition, is a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging. And that was definitely Mark. I was immediately turned off by him begging for stuff. I love helping people, but not those who blatantly beg for it. I was set to walk away, when he fixed his eyes on me and started shooting the breeze. Through conversation, we found out that he had voluntarily left his old life. He was married to a doctor and he had a great job, but he was miserable. His wife left him, so he chose life on the streets.......wandering aimlessly from town to town. And he loves his life. He was so happy! Like, the kind of happy that you can see in a person's eyes.
He asked if we were from a church and we said no, but that got the conversation started on the subject of God. He told us he wasn't a very religious person, but that he believed God was up there. For someone who claimed not to be too interested, he had a lot of information about Christianity. We talked about a lot of things, but he started saying we were living in the end times and gave examples of scripture that had come true that pointed to that fact. He said that in the Bible, Luke 10:8 says, "I beheld Satan as Lightning fall from Heaven.” And he said that words in that verse translated from English into Hebrew literally translated to, "Satan Barack O Bama." I listened while he was saying all of this, knowing not to believe it until I'd researched a little (which,now that I've had time, I've found everything he said can be verified, although I haven't exhausted EVERY resource in the world). I'm not trying to start any kind of political debate or anything, but these are the words he spoke to me and they resonated truth in my heart--not that Barack Obama is literally satan, but that he's not doing good for our world. And although he talked a LOT about a lot of different things, he said something that stuck with me. He said, "Christians won't die or have problems because they're stupid. They'll die because they're uninformed. Knowledge is power." I'm sure some people would think he was just rambling, but I felt like that summed up everything God had been trying to tell me. He'd been warning me time and time again to be prepared; to learn what I could; to put my hands and feet to use NOW--to be informed. I truly felt like during my conversation with Mark, I was in the presence of God. It's hard to explain, but I felt like while standing on a corner in downtown Wichita, I was in a holy place and it called for reverence and for me to be quiet and listen.

Needless to say, I've started listening. We're trying to buy a bag of beans or rice and keep our cans stocked every time we go to the store. We buy gallons of water and bottles of water every time we're there. We're going to try to buy in bulk rather than small things here and there so that if anything should happen, we'll have enough to take care of our family for awhile.

I don't know if you've ever had an experience like that....if you've ever know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was talking to you. But it's awesome. I KNOW God was using Mark to confirm what He'd already told me. And maybe NOTHING will come of the dreams or of my thoughts. Maybe God is just wanting to see if we'll do as we feel He has commanded us. My friend's dad admitted that he was nervous to share his dream because of the fear of what people would think, but God kept telling him, "Blow the trumpet, even if they don't listen." So he did. And maybe you'll all think I'm nuts or maybe you've been hearing the same thing from God and He's confirming your thoughts through me. Who knows. But the reality of it is, it never hurts anything to be prepared for things to come, physically and spiritually. I would much rather people think I'm crazy  than to be caught off guard if anything should happen. When it comes down to it, by being prepared physically and spritually, I'm losing nothing, so why not?

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