I've seen some wild things on this trip, wild things that the Lord is doing. And I've heard stories of even wilder things from the people here. One of the wildest so far is about gold dust and glory clouds. I first heard about this at Soaking, during a podcast sermon we were listening to, and it blew my mind. Apparently, at a church called Bethel in Redding, California, and at other churches around the world that focus in on the more Pentecostal or supernatural, gold dust falls during worship and glory clouds rest on the people. Google Bethel - I think there are YouTube videos of it. But as the pastor was talking about the glory cloud that had appeared in worship that Friday night, I found myself feeling skeptical. Or maybe a better word is confused. We cannot and should not seek signs for entertainment or PR - only out of pure love for Jesus and an understanding of his love for those who don't know him. And this gold dust thing sounded like a PR campaign or something...whatever it was, it sounded weird, and where in the Bible does God reign gold dust on people? So I sat there and kind of fumed as I listened, frustrated and way out of my comfort zone.
But a word of wisdom from one of the YWAM girls kept coming back to me: she'd struggled with stuff like this during her training and eventually had to realize that if she didn't believe in prophecy, she didn't believe in half the Old Testament, and if she didn't believe in miracles, she didn't believe in the Gospels or Acts, and if she didn't believe in the unfathomable power of the Holy Spirit - well. Then she didn't believe Jesus!
And I realized - slowly, over three or four days, maybe a week - that our God is bigger than we can ever imagine. He does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3, Psalm 135:6, Daniel 4:35). And he's done some crazy stuff - why can't these crazy things happen now, too? Why not transportation, like Philip in Acts? Why not resurrection, like Lazarus? (And I've heard some pretty cool resurrection stories here...) Why not healings, like in all the New Testament?
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" - Acts 8.
"He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it." - Mark 16:15-20
I'm still not exactly comfortable with gold dust. But I'm more and more comfortable with my God who doesn't fit inside a box, who robes himself in majesty and rules the world and really defies complete comprehension until we see him face to face - and yet still loves each of us passionately. Um, cool. And if he wants to reign gold dust on the people he adores, and rest his glory cloud upon them, then - well, I keep thinking of that line in the Chronicles of Narnia. "Aslan a tame lion? Oh no, he's not tame. But he's good."