Some time ago my wife and I were doing prayer ministry at Ellel Grange in the northwest of England. It had been a busy day and most of the guests there were drifting off to bed. But my wife had different ideas, and said, “Let’s go for a walk.” I had been thinking of going to bed, but I agreed to her suggestion.
We were walking down the driveway in the moonlight when my wife stopped. “Listen,” she said quietly. I could hear nothing. “Listen” she said again. “The leaves in the trees are rustling.” And they were. I could also hear it, a faint rustling sound in the trees. Yet all was still. There was no wind - not even a breeze. Yet we could distinctly hear the sound of leaves rustling. We became aware of a deep sense of peace in the quietness. As we stood perfectly still and listened, I said I was pretty sure there was a song about that.
We walked quickly back to the house, and started looking through Christian song books. “I’ve found it,” I said, and read the words quietly. “I hear the sound of rustling of the leaves in the trees, the Spirit of the Lord has come down on the earth..” We looked at each other. Maybe the Holy Spirit was in the trees here. We could feel the presence of God. Joy began to bubble up inside us. We knew He was with us that night, and enjoyed the moment. The afterglow lasted well into the following day.
Some years before, at a Christian family camp, the meeting had ended for the night and a group of us had gathered around a caravan. One of the group had brought a guitar and suggested a time of worship outdoors, and we began quietly praising the Lord.
In a short pause between songs, someone said nervously, “What’s that light over there in the trees?” We looked over to the trees surrounding the campsite. A golden glow was clearly visible, shining through the branches. Was it the moon? No, the moon was behind us and the sun had set long ago.
We stared in silence for a while. Then someone said, “The tree’s on fire.” But it wasn’t.
“I think it’s an angel”, a voice behind me whispered. A blanket of silence fell upon the group. We began to sing again, quiet, worshipful songs. The light shimmered and glowed in the trees and the fire of God filled our hearts.
I remembered the story of Moses and the burning bush. ‘The angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a blazing fire from within a bush… ‘Moses thought, “I must go over and see this marvellous sight. Why is the bush not burning up?” … God called out to him from within the bush, “Moses, Moses!” “Here I am,” he answered. “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground’ (Exodus 3:3-5).
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