God’s grace is sufficient. I’ve heard those words so many times. I’ve always thought that was an odd phrase. The word sufficient, in the ways I’ve often heard it used, didn’t sound all that great. I mean, if my teacher claimed my test score was sufficient, I kind of figured I’d passed, but sure could have done better. If Mom said we had a sufficient amount of milk in the refrigerator, I pretty much assumed it meant one glass for each of us was “enough” and that seconds were pretty much not going to happen. So the words “God’s grace is sufficient” have at times sounded like we are to make do, try harder, or learn to live with it. That is so far from the truth. His grace is, as I view it, so far, far greater than mere sufficiency can express. After all, something that’s sufficient is in a measurable quantity. While His grace is steadily flowing to us, through us, and around us and He just never stops giving us more! I say this to you now because while I was at church this morning and about midway through the service, while we prepared for Holy Eucharist and sang the Sanctus, God once again revealed Himself to me in a new and deeper way. I am even now, several hours later, still rather shaken by His majesty and His love! Before I tell you about today, let me back up a wee bit and share a little from the past.
Months ago, while at a mid-week prayer service, I asked one of the girls to pray for me about a concern I was dealing with. She told me that the Lord had given her a vision for me. She said that she wasn’t sure what it meant but could describe it clearly. It was completely visual, and there were no words accompanying it. What He had shown her was me surrounded by many angels. I wasn’t sure what this was supposed to reveal to me was at that time. I had, after all, asked for prayer about a specific concern and while it’s nice hear a vision like that expressed, it didn’t answer the question I’d asked the Lord to help with. Well, that’s what I thought at the time. Still I thought it was really cool! Some time after that occasion, I was at an Easter Vigil at church and while I prayed in the darkened church I saw a vision of an angel over my head as I looked up toward the church ceiling. I shared this with the one or two folks who were also praying during that hour on that evening. They didn’t react as I’d expected with “oh, I saw that too. Funny how the light from the moon shining in the window makes things look.” They were there at the same time as I was and didn’t see anything. I’ve been there since at that time of night and in the same light conditions. Even though I was in the same spot, the angel wasn’t there. It was a vision.
I’ve often been called a visual thinker or a visual person. I never gave it much thought. I’ve always seen or heard things the way I do. Thinking of it now, I realize that perhaps I do notice things in a special way that some of my friends do not. This reveals itself in the art I create or the words I write. I am blessed to be able to notice things that others just walk by. It’s a blessing I’ve grown used to. For a while now, however, the Lord has been speaking to me through this blessing of being visual. He has on a number of occasions given me a vision that He wanted me to share with another person whom He identified to me. He sometimes gives me a word of knowledge for others. The two messages are similar, with the difference being one is verbal and one is visual. Something new has been happening lately. During my prayer and quiet time, with my eyes closed, I’ve been seeing faces . . . fleeting images, but real faces just the same. They come to my spirit and are revealed clearly in human form. Since the spiritual gifts He’s blessed me with include prayer for healing, I assumed that these were folks I needed to pray for. I’ve never recognized the faces and so it made praying tricky, but when words don’t come to me in prayer I ask the Holy Spirit to give me a prayer language so that my soul can do the praying for me and my intellect can be left out of it. This is praying in tongues. All who are baptized in the Holy Spirit are given certain spiritual gifts. There are many and we are all given gifts as He wishes to enable us to do His work in this world. Paul writes of this in 1 Corinthians 12 where he says “ 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” So, when these images have come to me, I prayed in tongues for these whom He revealed to me. One day this past week as I rested with the Lord, a vision that came to me looked like the face of Christ. I admit, I didn’t give that much thought and continued to pray as I typically have done. Today, the Lord revealed something to me which brings all of these visions I’ve just shared with you together in a profound way.
As I sang the Sanctus, which I’m quite familiar with, I found my mind wandering to the words I’d just heard in the sermon and was thinking about the urging to go deeper with our faith and to seek from the Lord what He is trying to reveal to us when we keep finding ourselves stuck in the same place. I’d mental noted it but didn’t think there was anything at that moment that required clarification for me. That’s when it happened. I heard the Lord speaking to me as clearly as if you were standing here beside me speaking to me. What He spoke of was a reminder of the angel vision someone had for me when she prayed for me with the laying on of hands, and then again when I saw the vision on the church ceiling, and then of those faces that appear to me in my own prayer and quiet time at home. He told me that those were the faces of angels He’s given charge of to be with me. Psalm 91:11 tells us “He will put His angels in charge over you to protect you in all your ways.” Those words are true. I know. I have seen them!