Back in the spring of 2017 I had a numinous experience while driving to work one morning. I was traveling along I-95 on my way to the hospital where I serve as a chaplain. If you have read some of my other entries you are aware that there have been times when I hear voices in my thoughts. I have often wondered if these thoughts are self-created. It would be easy to simply dismiss these voices as my own thoughts. That said, when these voices I hear in my thoughts eventually direct me to remedy conditions I am experiencing, then I take note of their origin. In other words, I now have heard enough of these positive voices that I am convinced it is the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Allow me to offer an example. I suffer pain in my lower back due to some scoliosis. This condition has gotten progressively worse the older I have become. I haven’t done myself any favors for being overweight. I used to utilize the services of a chiropractor and that seemed to help. When my wife and I moved to Delaware, I stopped attending chiropractic services. After a year of not having my regular adjustments things began to get worse. It had gotten so bad that simply dressing myself was difficult due to the pain I was experiencing. I contacted my former chiropractor in Mississippi and he recommended someone close to me. When I went to see him for the first time he x-rayed my spine. What he showed me was rather frightening. The x-ray revealed two of my vertebras were touching. It looked like this (<). He explained that this was probably where the severe pain was coming from.
As I began to offer prayers for myself asking God to heal my back what I heard in my thoughts was not what I was anticipating. What I heard was the following. “I don’t want to heal your back for you. I want to heal your back with you.” I made arrangements to attend this new chiropractor twice a week for one year. I began noticing the pain I had experienced began to subside. After the first year the chiropractor took another x-ray and what it revealed was amazing. The vertebra that looked like this (<) no longer looked like that. Instead it looked like this (=). I compared the two x-rays to make sure I wasn’t making this up. They are no longer touching. Today when I get dressed and the pain I used to experience is no longer present, it is easy to confirm what I heard in my thoughts did not come from me. As a matter of fact I am reminded of The Spirit telling me that what we do best we do together.
Now getting back to my numinous experience while driving to work. I heard a voice in my thoughts that simply said, “Look up! What do you see?” I gazed up into the morning sky noticing various cloud formations. As I continued to survey the sky, I noticed a particular cloud formation that looked like a pair of folded wings. Once this identification was made I replied, “It looks like wings.” I had no sooner made that statement that I heard, “…find the passage on wings.” Once I arrived and parked my vehicle, I took out my phone on which I have a couple of bible apps. I chose the Amplified Bible and placed the word “wings” in the search feature. When I came to Psalm fifty-seven, somehow I knew this was the passage that I was being directed to read.
This is what I read, “BE MERCIFUL and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed.
I didn’t know what kind of calamities or destructive storms were coming way back in 2017. I tried to equate such storms to my personal life as we all probably have emotional storms that surface from time to time. However, the message in the psalm indicated a place of hope and protection when these calamities and destructive storms are gathering in the distance.
Today our world is beginning to deal with the COVID-19 virus or better known as the Coronavirus. When I read the tenth verse of this psalm knowing that I had been told to “look up” and what I saw were cloud formations, I sensed that the message I received was to me legitimate. Verse 10 reads, “For Your mercy and loving-kindness are great, reaching to the heavens, and Your truth and faithfulness to the clouds.”
I write this entry hopefully to bring some encouragement to those who easily become overwhelmed with anxiety. I encourage you to find the shadow of His wings where safety abides and God’s mercy and grace will protect you no matter what comes your way.