Have you ever been startled by the sound of an alarm? I have…many times, but the most recent sent a chilling message from head to toe and stirred my heart to write this story.
Treadmill time is my first morning commitment… after bathroom and water breaks. This routine of physical and spiritual working out helps me stay in shape. Early morning walking provides powerful praying time with no interruptions. And I love it!
An alarm signals something is wrong and sends a warning to whomever is listening. I was listening a few weeks ago in the early morning hours as I walked fast and prayed loud. As I write, memories of slipping out of bed quietly so I wouldn’t wake my sweet husband and kneeling beside my bed come to mind. I may only get a one sentence prayer out (sometimes more) but I always kneel when my feet hit the floor and ask God to give blessings and use me to be a blessing that day. Often, I would remain on my knees and watch James sleep with a heart filled with more love and gratitude for God and for the man He sent to love and cherish me (as I did him) than I could ever put into words. Sometimes, I climbed back in bed and cuddled up close, loving every minute we shared in one another’s arms before the alarm sounded.
One morning as I walked and talked to Jesus, singing in the spirit spewed from my heart. James came rushing downstairs to see if I was okay. Recognizing what was happening, he never said a word but headed back upstairs to dress for work. Every morning we wrote names in our prayer journal and prayed together. Those are the treasured times I miss most. Many might think I am off subject but when God stirs my heart to share, there is a reason – someone needs to hear the message. I encourage all couples to cuddle up close and take time to pray together first thing each morning. Cherish one another, love passionately, and enjoy every day together, for one day will be your last one together here.
So, a few weeks ago, my early morning walking and talking with Jesus got loud! Singing and speaking in the spirit spewed forth and filled my home with sweetness. You might call this talking in tongues. While I do not understand it, experiencing it makes me a believer. Besides, it is Biblical!
Turning up the speed on the treadmill, I was going full speed ahead when the shrill sounds of an alarm ripped through the air. What is happening, I thought? Realizing my home alarm was screaming, I ran upstairs to stop it. My phone rang with a lady from the Control Center calling to check on me. Assuring her it was a false alarm, we started talking and this story stirred. She wondered why the alarm went off. I told her she wouldn’t believe it but it happened while I was praying. She did believe it and before we said good-bye, we shared sweet Christian fellowship and strong concerns for alarming times in which we live.
Dressing for work, my mind kept replaying the alarm sounding while I was walking and praying. Throughout the day, I thought about my early morning experience with wonder in my heart. Sharing it with my brother, we both had a good chuckle for he knows I can get loud. I could not shake off the sensation I felt when the alarm suddenly filled the air with a distress signal. There seemed to be a desperate message intended. After days of early morning walking and talking, images of The Trojan Horse flashed in my mind. Years of teaching Roman history gave foundation for the story of defeat for the empire that thought they could never fall. Yet, the alarm sounded in the middle of the night. The enemy secretly hid inside a gift (Trojan Horse) that was pulled inside the walls that protected the people. As the people partied, played, and were caught off guard in the middle of the night, the enemy opened the secret door and devoured the people. The alarm sounded but they were not paying attention. Ironically, the people who were puffed up with pride…were defeated and died!
Is God sending signs and sounding the alarm for His children to prepare and pay attention to the enemy who lurks within? Alarming things are happening throughout our land but the enemy has no power when we stand strong with God…our provider and protector and spend time in prayer!
Are we listening…are we sure we’re listening! The alarm is sounding. Let us stay closely connected to Christ and be prepared to meet our Master at any moment. Jesus is coming soon – morning or night or noon!
Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.