I was laying there in my bed, all of my senses on their highest alert. I was still. It was pre dawn. My heart was beginning to race. I was trying to clear my mind as quickly as I could from the fog of waking up suddenly. My ears were listening for the tiniest of sounds. That’s what happens when you awakened from deep sleep before the sun comes up by your wife gently nudging you and whispering, “What was that?”
It didn’t take long for everything within me to begin to calm down. My heart slowed, my mind stopped racing. I was able to calm down and get my bearings. You see, once I heard it, I knew exactly what it was. It was an owl. No really, it was an owl. I’m not sure what she thought or why she approached it the way she did, but it was an owl. I heard him “Hoot hoot” from somewhere across the yard.
I knew it was an owl because I’ve encountered him before. I have lain in my hammock before the sun has risen and listened to him “hoot” in distance. His voice is strong yet soft. Powerful yet gentle. It is smooth but unmistakable. He sings almost in a cadence. Hoot hoot, pause, hoot hoot. Repetitious and soothing.
It was good to hear him again. Every time I hear his voice I remember the very first time I encountered him. Again, it was before the sun had come up. I was still a little groggy as I had not been up long. It was about a year ago. As I recall the morning was cool. It must have been in the fall. I had gone out to my shop to let the dogs out for the day (if you’ve ever had a Beagle go on a “hunt” outside your window at 3:00 am, then you don’t have to ask why I close them in a building at night.) As I was making my way across the deck to the back door of the house I heard it. It was loud and it startled me. About 20 yards from where I was walking is a large pine tree. The tree is maybe 40’ – 50’ tall. It sounded like someone was up in the tree shaking blankets in the wind. There were about 2 hard shakes and I barely caught a glimpse of him as he flew away. Obviously at the time I didn’t know it was an owl. I wouldn’t be able to make that assessment until later when I heard his voice. At the time I only knew that it was BIG! I thought it might be an eagle or a hawk. The size of the wings it must have taken to make that noise was a little scary. I was actually afraid to let the cat out thinking this predator might swoop down and snatch up my “killer kitty”. Truthfully the size it must be even made me afraid for my small dog. I can still hear the sound. It was powerful. It sounded like strength! Now, every time I hear the owl I think of that encounter. I think of his power. Every time.
Yesterday afternoon as I lay in my hammock I thought about him again. I thought about Cheryl asking, “What’s that?” I thought of his voice in the distance and always when I think of him I think of the power that I heard as he launched from the tree. Then God reminded me of a scripture. John 3:8 “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Now I know my application here is in no way what Jesus intended. However this is just what He showed me yesterday and used this verse to speak it. You see, I hear the voice of the spirit often. Distinct. Unmistakable. Both demanding and inviting. God reminded me ….. when I hear the voice …. Think of the power! That power that you have heard before. You see, I still struggle at times to follow the leading. I know the voice, I know Who is speaking. I know what He has said. But I am often faithless. Unsure of myself or my abilities. So God says, “it’s not you and your abilities that matter. It’s My abilities and My power.” When you hear the voice, think of the power. The power I have heard before as the Spirit moved in the lives of others. That power I have heard as the Spirit blew through my circumstances in the past. Remember the power. Hear the voice. Remember the power.
I’m just a guy who’s trying to think of the power, and that’s the way I see it. (or hear it)