God gave them knowledge and skill in all kinds of literature and wisdom; Daniel also understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
I adore Max Lucado. In fact I’ve read so many of his books and devotions over the years that I used to refer to him as my home pastor. It was because of my love for Max that my dear sister in law purchased a Max Lucado Bible for my birthday. I love it! I was taking a financial class soon after and every verse we covered in the financial class I circled in my new Bible.
John, my husband, is a pinnacle part of this story. Well, next to Jesus that is. John is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. His mother tells a story that when he was a child on the playground he would constantly bring new children to her and say, “meet my new friend.” John is also an avid hunter and fisherman. He will spend every last free moment thinking, preparing, or inviting others to join him in either of these two sports. It’s OK too if you’ve never fished or hunted. He will eagerly train you along the way; your interest is incentive enough to impart the skills, as far as he sees it.
This story starts a few years back during the fall season John was preparing for the hunting season and stopped off at the local sporting goods store. While in the shotgun shell aisle a gentleman ask him a question regarding the merchandise. John lit up with enthusiasm as they shared about sports. John helped him greatly according to Bert (that was his name) so he thanked him. Bert thought John worked at the sporting goods store. We all laugh about that, now. There’s one other thing I forgot to mention John’s known for: being a fisher of men, with effective evangelism! He invited Bert to church and both Bert and his wife Wendy attended. Bert received his salvation. Big God, small world.
From the time John met Bert in-between him coming to church, I had a dream.
In this dream, I had my Max Lucado Bible. I was standing at the back of the church next to the sound booth holding the Bible in hand with both arms folded close to my chest. In the dream, Bert had been baptized that day. People gathered around hugging and congratulating him for his decision as well as welcoming him to the family of faith. I felt the silent unction as only the Holy Spirit could, to give Bert the Bible as a baptism gift. I recall initially thinking, “Ugh! My Max Lucado Bible?” I wanted to pretend I didn’t hear that, right? I recently received it only a few months ago and I wasn’t certain if my sister in law would be upset if she found out I gave it away. Yet, I felt the heart of God towards Bert. I couldn’t reject the unction. These were my thoughts and feelings in my dream.
It was a clear and vivid dream.
A few months later, John informed me that Bert had made a decision to be baptized that following Sunday and He wanted us to be there! I recalled my dream as it was hard not to. I phoned my dear sister in law and humbly explained I felt the Lord wanted me to give Bert the Bible as a gift, but assured her I appreciated her thoughtfulness and she made the right decision in giving it to me. She was gracious, releasing me to do as I wish.
When the day of Bert’s baptism arrived it was a wonderful witness of a life turned for Christ and how we too as vessels can be used for a greater honor. Wendy was shaking with the new of the unknown as well as the power of grace that was upon her. It was a celebration indeed! After Bert and Wendy had hugged each other and their family members as well as church members that were present I approached Bert and offered him the Bible as a gift. It wasn’t in the back of the church like in the dream, but it was a holy moment. I explained I had I felt the Lord gave me a dream asking me to give him the Bible. I also told him that all the verses that he would come across that were circled were from the Crown Financial class. He was grinning the whole time I was sharing with him. He told me his family was very wealthy back home and that they were not including him because of a feud. I was surprised as it was the first I had heard of any of this story of his past. In fact, no one but God had any knowledge of that information. Bert thanked me, filled with joy and peace.
God knew Bert. He knew he would need the heart of his Heavenly Father engulfed in his watchful care, he would need Max Lucado’s pastoral insightful wisdom scattered throughout the Word of God and the financial verses marked as preparation so that he could overcome. If God is for us, who can be against us.
Still to this day, from time to time, my husband will share a text he’s received from Bert stating: please, tell your wife, thank you for the Bible and how much he appreciates it and is grateful to have it. John recently told me that Bert tells everyone about how he received the Bible and how much He loves it!!!
It reminds me of Psalms 16:7 how the Lord counsels and instructs us in the night. I praise the Lord, for His night counsel.
Hearing Bert share his gratitude and love for the Bible is a dream come true for me.
Deborah Somjak ~ 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry