As I ponder what I am hearing, I am reminded of Hannah Hurnard’s book “Hinds’ Feet on High Places.” It has been decades since I read it, so my recall of the details might be fuzzy, but here is the basic story line.
She climbed the mountain with a long series of painful, productive growth experiences. Then, she found herself in a very pleasant garden. When asked what this was for, the Shepherd replied that it was where He prepared people for death.
Shortly thereafter, she went to the altar and the priest removed her heart of self-will and was elated that he got every single rootlet. Then of course there was the resurrection and new life.
I wonder if we are seeing something like that here. The theme that has the most consistency is that people have worked hard for a long time and made a lot of progress. Then they find themselves abruptly isolated from those who have traveled through the most difficult parts of the journey with them.
I wonder if this is a picture of that garden before death, where our spirits disconnect us from the soul dynamics with other people, in order to be very still, very centered and very focused on what is coming next.
Some people already know that God is getting ready to deal with something large and painful within them. The initial reaction is grief and frustration over having to go down that road again. Is there ever any end to the junk in our lives?
However, on the heels of that emotion comes the realization that God is focusing on something very close to the core of our essence and that this one surgery will make an enormous difference for the rest of our lives.
So back to the isolation. I wonder if another picture could be like a baby in the birth canal. The mother and child have been tightly connected for a long time, but the intensity of this process causes them to each retreat into their own world. The bond between them is emotionally abandoned during birth, as well as being surgically ended.
Then, when the baby is on the outside, there is a process of mother and child getting reacquainted and reconnected in a whole different way — a way that has so much more potential than the way we once had.
That would suggest that our emotional isolation from people as we go through the normal stuff of life is just a temporary dynamic.
All that to say that many of you are in a similar but different place and these principles would not apply. However, for those of you where it does apply, know it is just a season and when you come out the other side after this big surgery, you will be a very different person.
One suggestion: in physical birthing we have learned to take the Egyptian curse very seriously. When Pharaoh called the midwives in to scold them, their defense was that Hebrew women had their babies easily and swiftly, unlike the Egyptians. Said another way, the Hebrews had babies the way God intended and the Egyptians were under a curse on the birthing process which made it challenging for them.
We have seen that this curse on child birth is still operant today. When a woman is physically pregnant, we reject the Egyptian curse from the child birth process and call forth the design of God for it to be short and non-violent. This has radically changed the birthing process for many moms.
So here, whether our process is seen as a surgery, or a healing, or a birthing, it might be wise to push back against the enemy’s involvement. Reject anything from the dark side that would make the process longer, more painful, or more twisted than God designed.
We will receive from the hand of God the productive pain He brings into our lives, but not accept any hitchhikers that the enemy tries to send along.
Copyright August 2011 by Arthur Burk
Written from home