Does God know everything about you and care for you? I have an amazing story to tell that will help you to answer these questions. I like this story, because it contains scientifically verifiable information, and, as an engineer, I like dealing with scientifically verifiable information. I hope you’ll be blessed. I continue to be blessed, even today, on account of what happened many years ago.
A little background to this story is that in elementary school, we home schooled as well as Christian schooled our youngest daughter. As you will see from the story, she was also enrolled in a public school for a very short period of time. Depending on the need, and the age, and the school, the decisions that you decide to take may be different. Homeschooling can be a very good option, and there were many pluses when we home schooled. Christian school was also very good, and I do not regret enrolling them, even though it was very expensive.
This story deals with events that took place in the fall of 2007 up to January 2008 — roughly a four month span of time — when we had our youngest daughter enrolled in a public school. Now I find it rather difficult to actually tell this part of the story without bringing in some sort of statement that could be considered offensive, so I kindly ask in advance for you to please forgive me if anything I say about the school we put her into during those four months sounds in any way offensive. That’s because I know that many of the people at that school are very nice people who are doing their very best to serve the children. But the truth is, “doing our very best” is still not always “best for the child’s welfare” in the end. The school was, for all intents, morally bankrupt in terms of promoting any type of truthful spiritual relationship with the Lord. It broke my heart. Whereas the year before, my daughter would come home from the Christian school telling me about what she had learned that day (a story about Joseph, or King David, or Samuel, or something on the life of Job, or one of the parables in the New Testament), this new school provided her with absolutely zero spiritual benefit. Not only was the spiritual benefit zero, it was “scrubbed clean” of anything having to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Poems that were taught were morally bankrupt. I remember one about frosty the snowman, but there was no Jesus the Savior of mankind! It broke my heart to see Jesus scrubbed out of the public school system. It broke my heart! It broke my heart, because I loved my daughter, and did not want to see her put through a morally bankrupt school system.
This problem reached it’s all time high when, around Christmas time, a Muslim mother of one of the children was allowed to come in and teach the children about her faith, and the so-called “real story” of Abraham who set out to sacrifice Ishmael. But was it really Ishmael that Abraham set out to sacrifice? No, it wasn’t. It was Isaac. For God’s word says,
“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”” (Genesis 22:1-2)
God Can Be Trusted
Thus, to say that Abraham set out to sacrifice Ishmael is a discredit to the word of God and makes God out to be unreliable in the transmission of His word. For if God cannot keep His word pure, what type of god are we trusting in? An unreliable one. But God is indeed able to keep His word pure. And the word of God can be trusted above all. It has not been changed, as many say it has. This is simply an affront to God and His word. Who would do such a thing? The father of lies (his name is Satan, and Jesus talked about him in John 8, saying,
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (see John 8:44)
The Bible says not to change God’s word, otherwise, we will proven a liar (see Proverbs 30:5-6). To hear this false teaching being promoted in my daughter’s classroom was very grievous to me. It broke my heart, when my young seven-year old daughter said to me after school that day, “Dad, we learned in school today about Abraham sacrificing Ishmael.” That was the last straw.
As a Christian, I try to remain very sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who the Bible says will guide us into all truth. He, the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) has many roles to play. He guides us, and comforts us, and convicts us of sin. In a situation like this, I simply want to hear from Him to know what to do. Wisdom may not say, “Take your son or daughter out of this school,” but it may. What wisdom says depends on what the Holy Spirit is saying at any given time, God is the author of wisdom. We must be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I do not like to make quick judgments in cases like this. I like to be very careful that what I’m doing is really born of God. My wife and I prayed about this situation. We asked God what to do. The situation did merit a response on our part. We had to do the right thing for our daughter.
I had already been grieving on account of the spiritual bankruptcy of the school prior to this. This was not the only incident that told me that things were desperately spiritually impoverished. It was however, one more siren that was indicating that some action needed to be taken. To do nothing would have been complete foolishness. On account of the fact that I had felt grieved prior to this time, my wife and I agreed that the very best thing for our daughter’s sake would be to take our daughter out of the school and return her to the Christian school where she had been the year before. I highlighted the words, “for our daughter’s sake,” because she was, and is, our primary responsibility as parents. Our primary responsibility is not to reform the school. The school may indeed need reforming. However, we need to wisely determine whether or not this is a task the Lord has called us to. We believed that it was not, and that it was in our daughter’s best interest to leave the school. Thus, by late December of 2007, or by the first few days of 2008, we had decided to remove our daughter from this school and return her to the Christian school. It felt like an amazing relief just to make that decision. Wow! Big burden all of a sudden gone!
As the timing of things would have it, I had decided that January 11, 2008 (a Friday) would be the best day for her to switch schools. Our daughter, in fact, went back to the public school for the first few days of the new year, before switching back to the Christian school. In my heart, I believed that January 11, 2008 would be the day of the switch. However, things worked out just a little bit differently than I had expected or planned.
The Bible says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). This was certainly very true in this case. I had planned our way, all right, but the Lord directed our steps. It was really quite amazing what happened. In the early morning of January 9, 2008 (a Wednesday), I got to bed around 2 a.m. or so. I put my head on the pillow and simply could not get to sleep! I do not at all normally suffer from sleeplessness. I work hard, and sleep hard! Thus, sleep will normally come to me within about 30 seconds. However, even after having worked hard, and having gotten to bed at this late hour, I could not sleep! Something was wrong.
I asked the Lord, “Why can I not sleep?” The Lord then answered me! He spoke to me, although not audibly, yet I heard the exact words spoken into my spirit.
He said, “Today you shall bring your daughter back to her old school.”
The emphasis was on the word, “today.” In other words, not on Friday as previously planned! For whatever reason, the Lord wanted a two-day head start on my plans. I had no idea what this was all about. But I did know that I had heard the Lord correctly.
If you have never heard the Lord speak to you, ask Him to. My experience has been that He will, if we purge ourselves of sinful attitudes and actions. This might require quite a cleansing, and at the same time, I don’t want to promise you that God will speak to you in the same way, but He does delight to be intimate with His children, so He will be intimate with you, if you draw close to Him. It all depends on your desire to come close. Here is what the Bible says:
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)
In another passage, God says, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me” (see 2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
The Desire for Intimacy
Thus, in all of this, we can see that God desires to be intimate with His people. It is not God’s fault that He does not communicate with His people. It is His people’s fault. They are required to purify themselves, and they will hear His voice. Nevertheless, He may not speak the same to all people. He is a very personal God, but He will not speak contrary to His word (the Bible).
I was quite surprised when I heard the Lord say say “Today you shall bring your daughter back to her old school.” Nevertheless, I was quite encouraged, as well. If the Lord had remained silent on the matter, I would have been left to myself to figure out whether or not we had really made the right decision (we definitely did feel confident about this, though). To point I am trying to make is that to hear God’s voice on any matter brings with it a certain confidence that you might not otherwise have. A single word (or words) from the Lord can bring great encouragement, and confidence. I was encouraged, but there was also another reason the Lord spoke, but it was not evident at that point in time. It would only become evident later on in the day.
The Most Important Relationship of All
Do you know today that God loves you and will one day welcome you into His eternal kingdom? Are you positively sure? Can you say you have a relationship with the Creator of all things? Would you like one? This relationship is yours if you want it. It depends on what you do with Jesus. If you love Him, He will love you back. But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. There is no middle ground with God. The Lord loves to bless people, but He cannot do it if you refuse to come to Him. That is why Jesus said,
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The operative words in that last passage are the three first words, “Come to Me.” We all have to do that, come to Jesus. Jesus’s further promise is as follows:
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37)
Thus, God desires that we all come to Him. He will not forsake us if we do.
Eternity is an awfully long time. My recommendation is to commit your life to Christ and to get involved in a good Bible-believing church.
As you cultivate your relationship with God, and as your become intimate with Him, He will become intimate with you, even revealing things to you about yourself and about His plan for you (see John 14:21). It all starts by committing your life to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
When the Lord — that is, the One who created the universe — speaks to you clearly like that, you can be sure He’s got everything all figured out and ready for you. At that point, I was not about to ask the old school whether or not we could bring our daughter back on that day. The Lord had already told me to do it. Do not ask someone for their permission when the Lord has already told you to do something.
I contacted the school around 7 a.m. to inform them of my intention. I indicated in a gracious manner that I planned to bring in my daughter on that day (the Wednesday) instead of the Friday as previously scheduled.
They were delighted!
Thus, if the Lord is truly speaking to you concerning these things, it will work out. These directions came from the Creator. The Creator is not wrong. (But in case one wants to debate the point, one can always test and see if what they heard is trustworthy and reliable. In my case, had the school disagreed with my bringing her in on that day, then perhaps that would have been a sign that I had not heard from God correctly. Thus, I am not against testing the spirits to see if they are from God or not. The Bible tells us to do that very thing — we are to test the spirits, to see if they are from God (see 1 John 4:1-3).
Thus, the Lord told me that I would be taking her back on that very day, and that day was January 9, 2008. This is critical to the whole story and what happened next.
When I told my daughter that she would be going back two days earlier than expected, she was also delighted. It was a little bit emotional for me because we had been through this rather stressful time at the public school. She was not thriving at that school. I felt somewhat emotional (in a good way) bringing my daughter back to the Christian school. Finally, she was reunited with her old friends, and the spiritual void that had been created by the public school was removed. The difference was like day and night. Partly, it was a confidence issue. We just did not have the necessary confidence in the public school.
I say the following with a tiny bit of reservation, but, in light of the many inadequacies of the public school system these days, should most parents feel comfortable with it? Today, it is many years later (about 7) and our daughter is in the public school system once again, but with a difference. She finished her elementary schooling at the Christian school, and was able to gain entrance into a particular high school program which enables her to study music. Still, there are cautions, and it is a public school, but there are Christians at that school, as well, and at least one Christian teacher (and likely several more), and a Christian club, too. She is also much more mature, as it is 7 years later, but one does need to weigh out all of the options and opportunities, for in this case, she would not be able to enroll in a music program of this caliber at a different school. The music program is incredible, and I am continually amazed at some of the songs they are choosing. Most are musical pieces (without any words), but the ones that do have words are usually deeply meaningful and have direct application with the Bible’s teachings. Could it be the influence of the Christian teacher? I think so.
On that day, January 9, 2008, a definite tear of joy flowed down my cheek, as my daughter was restored to her schoolmates, whom she longed to see. As I left the Christian school shortly after that (this would have been around 9 a.m.), I remember being in my car, and getting ready to cross the road. My daughter was now reunited with her friends, and it was now time for me to go back to work (note I worked from home at that time). As I crossed the street, the Lord whispered into my ear the following words:
“Today is your turn-around day.”
I began thinking about what this expression “turn-around day” might possibly mean. The first thing that came to my mind was that it probably referred to the fact that I had “turned around” figuratively-speaking, by bringing my daughter back to her old school. So it would have been like saying, “Today is the day that you made the decision to bring your daughter back to the Christian school.” But as I continued thinking about this, about a minute or two later another thought came to my mind, which took me back about 6 months in time to the summer of 2007. At that time, on a particular day, I had a rather interesting thought pass through my mind. This is explained as as follows.
Around the summer of 2007, I was reflecting on a certain day that I roughly calculated would occur in the first few weeks of January 2008, in which I would have finally lived more days for the Lord than without Him. That’s because at the time I had this thought, I had been a Christian a little over 22 years. I remembered that I was just under 23 years old when I became a follower of Jesus Christ. I was 45 years old at the time I had this thought, and realized that this “cross-over day,” if you will, would be coming shortly down the road. It fascinated me.
Since I was born on June 23, 1962, and became a follower of Jesus Christ on March 31, 1985, I was about 22 3/4 years old at the time I began to follow Christ. If you double that, and then added precisely one more day, I would have finally lived more days with the Lord than without Him on that day. That would occur, I realized, sometime in the first few weeks of January 2008. That is the time when I would be about 45 1/2 years old — or double 22 3/4. I did not pay more attention to it than that — until the day I heard the Lord tell me it was my “turn-around day.” And that day was January 9, 2008.
As I continued to reflect on the meaning of what this “turn-around day” might possibly mean, all of a sudden I found myself thinking about what I had been briefly thinking about back in the summer of 2007. I thought to myself, “I can verify this when I get home.”
When I got home, I quickly got onto my computer and visited a website I have been to many times, called, www.timeanddate.com. From this website, you can easily calculate the number of days between two dates. Thus, I put in the following dates and found out that January 9, 2008 really was my “turn-around day.” Here is the math:
Between my birthday (June 23, 1962) and the day I was born again (March 31, 1985) are 22 years, 9 months, and 9 days.
Between the day I was born again (March 31, 1985) and the day the Lord told me it was my turn-around day (January 9, 2008), there are 22 years, 9 months, and 10 days.
Thus, the revelation was completely accurate. January 9, 2008, really was my “turn-around day.”
Why Does the Lord Do Things Like This?
Why does the Lord do things like this? For the fact that He did it is pretty obvious. But the real question is why? In studying the Bible, we see that God delights to be intimate with His children. For example, Jesus says,
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
From this, we get a glimpse of God’s heart for His people. It is this same heart that is reflected in the communication that God gave to me that day.
God desires to communicate with His people. He is not far from any of them. God wants us to come close to Him, and find rest in Him. If you have not done so, you are invited to do so. In fact, the most important thing you can do is to surrender your heart to God, who knows all about you, anyway. Nothing is a surprise to Him, so there is nothing to lose (except your pride) and everything to gain (including eternal life). So what are you waiting for?
This Could Be Your “Turn-Around” Day
Have you been hurt? Do you feel wounded, lonely or afraid? God knows all about it. God calls each person to put their trust in Him, for the rewards are eternal.
If you do this (trust Him today), it could be your “turn-around day,” as well, as you pass from death to life. For that is exactly what happens when a person trusts in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, even as Jesus said,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)