In a time of great darkness, fear and uncertainty Joanna reached out to the King she had turned away from years ago. After the death of her brother it had hurt too much to believe in Him.
Her sister who had come to the Lord after their brother’s death had sent her a Bible, and a book of daily readings. On the day after New Year’s she sat upstairs with the books on her bed feeling wretched and alone. In desperation she cried out to the King.
He had been waiting for her to turn to Him, and spoke to her very softly, in the stillness. She heard the words “turn off the radio.” Even though she believed that the voice was her own, she did as she was told. She wished with all her heart that He was a God who could talk to her.
The words began; “Fear not. I am here with you” and stopped as a picture came into her mind of a Father, looking down at his baby. He wore a look of deep tenderness, as He held the baby against his cheek. The words began again. “Child, do you see that baby the Father is holding? Although he is holding her, she cannot see him, for her eyes cannot yet focus. You are the baby. There are so many things I want to show you, but you cannot yet see.”
She sighed. Was that really Him, or was she just trying to comfort herself? Wondering at the powerful vision she had just received, she opened up the Bible reading for the day. Tears blurred her eyes as the words poured off the page; “A father tenderly looks at his baby, holds her to his cheek, and bends down to feed her. The love that God the Father has is like the love of this Father for his child …. Even when we turn away from God the Father, He never stops loving us in His Father’s heart.”
The word was based on a book in the Bible called Hosea.
The Lord says,
“When Israel was a child, I loved her
And called her out
of Egypt as my daughter
But the more I called to her,
The more she turned away from me
My people sacrificed to Baal;
They burned incense to idols.
Yet I was the one who taught Israel to walk.
I took my people up in their arms,
But they did not acknowledge that I took care of them.
I drew them to me with affection and love.
I picked them up and held them to my cheek;
I bent down to them and fed them.
How can I give you up, Israel?
How can I abandon you?
My heart will not let me do it!
My love for you is too strong.” Hosea 11:1-9
She wiped her eyes and raised her head, a changed woman. A feeling of joy ran with the grief. “I can hear you!”
Being able to speak with the King changed everything. The next day as she read the Bible, Joanna received her first promise; “When you call, I will answer, I will show you great and marvellous things of which you know not.” Jeremiah 33:3