This morning, while on my way to my youngest daughter’s eighth grade graduation, God spoke to me in an amazingly profound manner. And He used a grocery store balloon to do it.
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11,12 (KJV)
My youngest daughter had her graduation today, so I wanted to stop at the local Publix supermarket to get a bunch a flowers to give to her after she got her diploma. While there, a shiny, colorful balloon caught my eye and I got that as well. The florist safely attached the hook on the bottom of the balloon to the stems of the flowers, I paid the cashier, then got in my Jeep to drive the half mile to the school. That’s where the ‘trouble’ started.
I had my top down, it’s a gorgeous day here in Saint Augustine, and the flowers and the attached balloon were in the back seat. The balloon was flopping around like crazy in the wind, so I thought I would put them both in the less windy front seat for safe keeping. Then, in the ‘twinkling of an eye’, the wind immediately ripped the balloon from the flowers and I watched helplessly as it sailed over my head behind me and into the oncoming traffic. I watched it bob and weave till it disappeared behind a truck, knowing its fate was sealed. The roadway was jammed with fast moving cars, the road surface hot and gravelly, the chances of the balloon surviving right around absolute zero. I silently hoped that someone would be able to scoop it up at least and give it to their child on graduation day.
Well, the commencement ceremony was nice, amazingly quick, and afterwards I present Megan with her flowers and a funny story about the balloon I used to have. We had a good laugh over it, and then climbed into the Jeep for a celebration breakfast. We exited the school parking lot and pulled out onto the main roadway, still quite congested with morning commute cars.
Then, ahead in the distance on our side of the road something shiny and fluttering caught my eye.
“No”, I said to myself as we got closer, “there is no way this is still here!”. What I saw was the same balloon that flew out of the car now nearly 2 hours later, in pristine condition, and just waiting in the grass by the curb for someone to stop and pick it up. I pulled over, shocked speechless and nearly senseless, and excitedly told Megan to grab the balloon. Her balloon! I was so happy to get it back, and in such dramatic fashion, that an actual tear came to my eye. With heartfelt gratitude, I thanked God for this “minor miracle” of allowing us to get a silly balloon back.
It was then that God started to speak with me as we drove
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (KJV)
I thought of that journey that that balloon had made, a journey that I gave a zero percent chance of it making. It had to survive getting run over by multiple dozens of cars, not popping on the hot roadway, not popping hitting sharp rocks and gravel, not getting attached to someone’s bumper, and not getting stolen. And the chances of it safely getting across the 4-lane roadway and landing by the curb on our side of the road and then just sitting there for at least an hour until we came back out? You’ve got to be kidding me. Yet, there is was. We got it back safely.
Our lives make a similar journey from the time we get saved until the time we are taken Home.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 (KJV)
The Bible teaches us that, when we get saved and become born again, Jesus Christ is now our constant companion, guide and protector. Our lives progress much like the journey of that balloon this morning. We start out by getting saved, and then ‘the journey’ begins and is one that can be fraught with danger and peril as we travel. But our every step along the way is watched over by He who loved us, and washed us clean in His own blood. Nothing happens to us that is not in the Father’s plan and will. Nothing. And though the ‘oncoming traffic’ of this life rages at us at full speed, our successfully arriving on the ‘other side’ is completely assured.
Just like our balloon did this morning.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35,37-39 (KJV)
If you are unsaved, the cares and worries of this life must weigh on you like a ton of bricks. Trust Jesus Christ and have Him take the burden from you. He will, and you will never regret it.
Christian, are you in the thick of it these days? Are you ‘oppressed on every side’ by these end times in which we live and in danger of losing your grip on that ‘blessed hope‘? Do you worry about how it will go when it comes your turn to leave this life? We all doubt our faith at times, but take heart. In the miracle journey of a silly, little balloon this morning, God spoke to me in an amazing way to remind me of His claim on my life and soul, and to remind me of His promise to get me Home safely at journey’s end.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 (KJV)
I write this with tears in my eyes, joyful tears, so thankful for the much-needed reminder of His faithfulness and of His abundant love for us His redeemed children. When was the last time you stopped what you were doing and just thanked Him? Not for gain, or favor, or blessing, but just to thank Him for your salvation and knowing He wrote your name in Heaven.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11 (KJV)
I heard the voice of God today in a supermarket balloon by the side of the road. Christian, He calls to you today as well, and it might be in the least of things. In fact, that’s exactly where it is. The still, small voice of Almighty God.
Are you listening?