Does God Really Talk to People?
I love God’s voice. It is so soft and sweet, yet, it is powerful enough to wake up the dead! This final portion has to do with the final reason I believe God really speaks to people, and that is because He speaks to me often. This proclamation has gotten me into a lot of trouble, both with friends and foe. That is not surprising, because the fact that God spoke to Jeremiah, in the Old Testament, got him into plenty trouble.
The very first time I remember God speaking to me, I was about five years old. I have told this story on television, in foreign countries, and to my friends and family. My brother is in this story with me, commented when I told him this story, “So, you became a grown up woman, at age 5.” Well, I guess so. There is something about knowing God, that makes you a little more mature. However, though I have known God since I was a child, there are still days, when I feel like I am still a five year old child.
Though I can never remember, not believing in God, I officially accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, at the age of 12 years, because I had read the story about Jesus starting His own work at about 12 years of age. So that summer, when I was 12 years old, (I was born in 1948) there was a revival going on at our church, and I of course went to the revival every night, along with the rest of my family. In those days, we still had what they called “the mourner’s bench”. If you had not accepted Jesus yet, and you were in the Baptist church, you sat on the mourner’s bench. Once you accepted Jesus, and was baptized, you could sit anywhere in the church, and you could receive The Lord’s Supper, or Communion.
As I mentioned earlier: The first time I remember the Lord speaking to me, I was five years old. It would have been around 1953. Our family lived deep in the woods. We still had a wood burning stove and heater. We read by kerosene lamps. My mother was industrious, and was in the process of changing over from a non-electrical home, to having electric lights. We had, what we called, “an ice box”, or refrigerator. This is key, for you understanding the story. An ice box, was made of tin, or steel, and it had three compartments on it; two smaller compartments, and one longer compartment, equal to the other two. Each door had a two-part steel latch on it, a handle that one depressed to open, and a cradle, which the latch fit into. It was hard to open and close.
In the upper left hand compartment you put a block of ice, about 15″ x 15″ which cooled the ice box. In the lower left hand compartment, and the longer compartment you put food. One had to buy ice, almost every day. It think it cost about 15 cents a block.
My father and the boys had put the old ice box in my parent’s room, because we were getting an electric refrigerator. I had been cautioned by my mother, “not to play” in the ice box. Many children had suffocated and died in ice boxes just that year. But, I couldn’t resist, I had to play in the ice box. So while my mother was sleeping, and listening to the radio, my little brother, who was then 4 years old, and I, went into my mother’s room to play. We opened the ice box and got in, to play “car”. I was the driver of the car. I got into the upper left hand compartment, where they would put the ice, and at my request, my brother closed the door on me. I remember smelling the cakes my mother had had in the box during Christmas.
My brother was taller, so he got into the long compartment. From inside the box, I cautioned my bother “not to close his door”.
We had been playing for just a few minutes, when my brother screamed. “My door closed!” “My door closed!” I yelled at him, “Why did you close the door. I told you not to close it!” He assured me, he had not closed the door, but the door had closed on him “by itself”. There was a knowing in me, that made me believed him! There was not only God, there something out there, mean, and evil, who had closed that door.
In an attempt to free himself, my brother started to shake the ice box furiously. Now mind you, the floor of the house was wooden, and it sat about 12 feet up off the ground, so it gave when you walked on it.
God spoke the first time: “Tell your brother not to shake the ice box, if he turns it over, your mother will not be able to pick it up. Then your mother will die. Your sisters and brothers will come home from school and find you all dead.” I saw the picture in my head. I yelled at my brother, and repeated to him, what God had said to me. He stopped shaking the ice box.
God spoke the second time: “If you will pray, I will open the door for you!” By now, I estimate that about 45 seconds had past. We were still breathing fine, but our time was running out. I was a little uneasy about saying this, but I said to my brother, “I know who can open the door for us!” Mind you, we had already called our mother repeatedly, so my brother conceded that “Mama sleep!” I told him: “I am not talking about Mama, I was talking about God!” His reply was: “God can’t hear us, He’s in heaven!” His answer shook me for a minute. That was true, He was in heaven. I didn’t understand everything, but I had no time to figure it all out. God had said that “if you pray, I will open the door!”
So, I asked my brother to repeat the Lord’s prayer after me. At first, he refused. I had to ask him about three times, before he finally agreed. For whatever reason, I knew we both needed to pray. Finally, we started: “Our father” and he repeated: “Our fadda (father)”, “Who art in heaven.” “Who art in heven (heaven)”. “Hallow would be thy name.” “Hallow be thy name.” “Thy Kingdom Come!” “Thy Kingdom Come! It’s open! The door open!” my little brother said. After we were out, there was another unction I received at age five, “Tell God thank you!” Again, I had to fight with my little brother, to make Him tell God “thank you!” This is what he said, “God didn’t open the door, door opened by self!” What do you believe?
While many children died in those old ice boxes, that year, thanks to the Lord, and child’s faith, we both came out of that old ice box, and lived to share this story. Do you believe that God really does talk to His people. I do! Pastor T.W.