Woke up early. Everything was so still. Perhaps with Storm Hector’s passing on, the absence of the noise of its wind was accentuating the silence. Looking out of the window, the stillness awakened a memory of a deeper holy hush, I experienced many years ago.
I was in the manse of a friend in North Uist at the time. I was there for a Communion Season at which I was to preach at the English speaking services while another visiting minister was due to speak at the Gaelic speaking services. It was a house marked by much prayer for Revival. Through the night, I woke up and became aware of such a deep presence of the Lord that it was tangible. It was beautiful, fearful, made me want to get out of bed and prostrate myself on the floor and also dance furiously all at the same time. There was deep awe and fear in a part of my inner being I have rarely touched, but joy rising in my heart as well, a lightness of spirit. The simple thought birthed in these moments was this: “This is our God and we have waited for Him.”
At first I had no sense of wondering about the meaning of what was happening. The moment was there to be lived, survived even, whatever it led to, if anything. The Holy One of Israel was there to be worshipped, that is all. The sense was of Him filling all things. From my bed I looked out of the window. Though the Lord often speaks to me through “pictures” in my spirit, I have had very few vision experiences. This was one of them. Against the background of the darkness of the early hours I could see two things:
The first thing I saw was not part of the vision but an earthly observation. In the distance I could see the lights of cars going to and fro across the island. It was already the early hours of the Sabbath, and there was a sense of these cars carrying people on the same godless pursuits of the lonely and the lost as happens anywhere on a Saturday night/ early Sunday morning. My heart was hit by such a sense grief, a grief that I knew was not my own. It was the Lord, the Shepherd’s own heart for the lost that I was touching the outer edges of. “God so loved the world….”
The second thing I was aware of was a shape moving effortlessly among the stars. As I looked upwards, these words were birthed deep within: “Who is this who rides across the heavens in the stateliness of His majesty?” What I saw was the outline of a kingly figure. His transparent robe was made of stars and planets, that seemed to be drawn in the skirts of the train of that robe as He moved onwards with unfaltering and unstoppable pace . It was as though the whole universe was magnetised to His glory, being taken at His will towards a destination to which He would one day bring all things.
I have never forgotten the “sight.” It left me with enduring memories and thoughts, above all this one. What would happen if men and women were to be awakened to the magnetism of Him who carries all things in his hands, and become aware of the presence of the One whom moon and stars, suns and planets obey, the One to whom all creation is calling out, “Come!” ? Folk in the cars I was still aware of would be out of them, lying face down before the Lord, unbearably conscious of the God they had ignored passing by in their midst. No one would need to tell them to cry out in the sentiments of Fanny Crosbie’s hymn,
Pass me not O gentle Saviour
Hear my humble cry,
While on others thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief:
Kneeling there in deep contrition,
Help my unbelief.
Trusting only in Thy merit
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded broken spirit,
Save me by thy grace.
In the presence of the One riding across the heavens in the stateliness of His majesty it was not hard to believe that a nation could be changed in a single day, it was not hard to believe for Revival. I suppose I hoped that Revival might be falling on the island at that moment. That did not happen, despite the earnestness of prayer of many over the decades, prayer which I am sure still continues even today, especially in the hearts of some of the Lord’s people for whom the islands of the West are home. However, I believe Revival in the islands is only a matter of time. As the intense glory of the moment I am recounting to you passed, I felt that the whole experience was a prophetic promise of that coming revival: “This is our God and we have waited for Him.” My hope is that when that day dawns, hearts in North Uist will be among many more hearts throughout the islands and indeed the United Kingdom, magnetised to the moving of God in the midst.
As the glory further faded yet still lingered, the most natural response was to pray. I do not know what I prayed then, my words were probably few, but I know what the memory of all of this made me pray today in the stillness of the early morning. I typed as I prayed. I share it with you. The wording may sound old fashioned and severe. It is just the way I pray about such things. The style is personal to me, do son’t trip up over that. Hopefully you may feel the urge to pray in your own way for Revival.
“Oh that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down; that mountains of unbelief, lostness, rebellion, hard heartedness, confusion, the devil’s lies, would melt away, flow down before your presence. May that day come! Whether Scotland is the first to be awakened by your Sovereign grace and timing, or its place in heaven’s future unfolding calendar of mighty acts be marked by a less noteworthy number in the list of nations to be revived, may the world look with astonishment on a Scotland awakened to You. May our humbling before you, be a sign of hope to those who look and who hear of what you have done for us. May other faithful souls who even now are often found on their knees and faces pleading for their own communities and homeland say with faith, “This is what God does for those who wait for Him! If God can humble the nation of Scotland which has forgotten its God, the proud leader of the march of increasing godlessness in the nations of the United Kingdom, He can save us. Revive us too, O Lord, for the sake of the glory of your own dear Son, Jesus. Amen!”
I hope these early morning thoughts bless you.