"And can any understand the spreadings of the clouds...?" --Job 36:29a
On Friday, we drove to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to see the Sight & Sound production In the Beginning. It was amazing! The way the story was told and performed brought to life the events of the Creation and Fall to the death of Adam. Tears streamed down my face, and I felt like weeping.
On the ride home, the play went through my head... the life of peace, fellowship, and blessing Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall, and the fear, isolation, and suffering they endured afterward. I thought about my own struggles, and a song went through my head that had come to mind the day before on the ride up... Rejoice in the Lord by Ron Hamilton.
God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.
I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.
Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.
O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
I shall come forth as gold.
I had asked Max and Emily if they'd like to sing it together in light of the fact our church hasn't had choir since the change from an evening service to an afternoon one. It's difficult to get everyone together to practice. They agreed.
I was feeling so unworthy to serve the Lord, and as I prayed, I looked up into the blue sky to see a cloud with a void in the middle with the shape of the number 5. Five... five what? It was a distinct shape, and as I continued looking and wondering, a cloud formation beside it slowly formed the numbers 1 and 3 in the same manner... a void, and when I looked back at the 5, it had turned into a 6. "What does it mean?" I wondered. The numbers were too distinct to be a mere coincidence, but I told myself that we shouldn't trust in signs and seek to hear from the Lord that way. I couldn't help praying to ask if it was significant, and as I did, a car passed by, and I just happened to notice the last three numbers of it's license plate... 613. Another coincidence? It was too much, so I asked what it meant, and a thought came to mind. The 5 represented the fifth book of the Bible, and the 6 and 13 represented the chapter and verse. I asked Matt, who was sitting across the aisle from me, if I could borrow his Bible for a minute. This is what Deuteronomy 6:13 says, "Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name." Is it just a coincidence that it directed me to God's Word and fit the occasion of my prayer? I don't think so.