It was the strangest experience of my life. It happened when I was a senior at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I was a good student. Graduated 2nd in my class and, no, there were more than 3 in my class! Thanks for asking! I studied the Bible, its Greek language called Koine, homiletics, hermenuetics, church history and much more . Lots to study.
A full campus life there in downtown Chicago, in addition to working a couple jobs, teaching Sunday School, and being president of the student mission organization. Busy…busy…busy. Can you guess what was missing?
A few friends challenged me to join them in reading the Bible– to read the Word and hear from the Lord. Not for class assignments or to be number one in my class. Nothing other than to meet with our Lord privately, quietly, without any agenda of our own. I agreed but possibly to please my friends. It only took me three days to drop out. I had an important paper to write for systematic theology. There was a meeting coming up for all the officers of Missionary Union. I had a date for Saturday night. That’s it. That’s what happened, I’m ashamed to say!
On the 4th day, in the afternoon, I was lying down on the bed in my dorm room, wide-awake, when the room was filled with white smoke, and there was certainly no smoking anywhere at Moody. I felt paralyzed… completely. Couldn’t move at all, even though I was totally aware of where I was. Immobilized. The room was bright like a light was shining somewhere. And then it happened. I heard the most eerie sounding laugh and cackle I had ever heard. From where? I don’t know. I knew it wasn’t the Lord who was laughing at me. I figured I had hurt Him by my frivolous promise, so easily and quickly broken.
I knew who it was. As Peter wrote–‘be sober…because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). I didn’t hear him roar. He was too busy laughing at me.
That was then. Not anymore. Years later, I love to spend time with my Lord. In the Bible. In prayer. Reasons? Who needs them? To be near Him, to learn from Him, to stay close to the One who will never laugh at me but give me all the reasons to laugh with joy that only salvation in Jesus Christ can ever bring. Guess who had that last laugh?
Prayer: Lord, how good it is to sit at your feet, soaking up all your love and mercy and forgiveness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.