Humor me please, as I ask a personal question.
I continue to be amazed at the fact that around a hundred people are willing to invest time and effort into praying for my journey every week. What about the other side?
Do you emotionally “own” the victories when they come? Do you personally find fulfillment as you see the connection between what you prayed and what God did here in my life?
If so, you should be exultant today since you nailed it. In fact you nailed it fast and hard.
At 6:56 a.m. Monday, I received the picture of where I am in Scripture. It was the story of Mary and Joseph in the stable in Bethlehem.
The point is that their world turned upside down. They obeyed God and suddenly things changed outside them that made walking out their assignment seem nearly impossible.
Yet, the awfulness of the stable did not in any way change the original calling. Even though God did not explain Himself, in His silence they did exactly the right thing which was to go forward with life, being pushed around by the cultural realities of the hour, without rejecting the original calling.
So the message to me was this: things are OK. Even though the external world has changed, my calling has not changed, and I should be focused on staying the course through this season.
It was a very emotionally solid for me. Both the process of YOUR prayers being answered with a clear Bible story, and the product of a story I could understand, landed well.
The short version is that the alternative options I had been looking at were snake oil. I will ignore them and stay on track with what I have been doing for a long time.
On Tuesday, God took me back to my childhood on the Amazon. One of the realities of birth in the jungle was that many babies died from tetanus seven days after birth as a result of the unclean tool used to cut the cord. We grew up with a keen awareness of all the places one could get tetanus, such as horse manure.
If I hurt myself playing with the guys and was bleeding, Dad’s first concern was that I might have been infected with tetanus from the contaminated soil. We learned that whenever there was a wound, our first response was to enhance the bleeding, using our own blood to flush out any possible contaminants.
So the idea of birthing a baby in a stable, surrounded by who knows how many kinds of manure and how many other germs than tetanus was pretty awful to us as kids.
God reminded me of that and pointed out that He was fully up on the topic of infections, knew that humanly speaking both mother and baby were at risk for their lives, but that He did brinksmanship with ease.
Message to me: chill out about the risk factors of the current situation and carry on with what needed to be done.
Throughout the week, God kept reinforcing the need to stay focused and keep moving the ball the best I could in the current situation.
There was one big soft spot though and that was the abundance of words we had received about a big lurch, a new thing, etc.
While the Bethlehem picture was quite settling in saying I did not need to reinvent the company or do anything drastic, the words were still there.
Later in the week, God gave me a second picture which was of the wise men coming to the house in Bethlehem. This was undeniably a huge change in their lifestyle, as was the subsequent trip to Egypt.
God’s point is that when the lurch comes, it will not be the result of anything I have done (except to stay on task), and it will be undeniably from God. No need to worry about deception.
So by Thursday, the message was distilled. “Stay focused on the game at hand. Move the ball the best you can at present. Don’t get distracted.”
There was nothing Mary and Joseph could do to understand the mess in Bethlehem and there was little they could do to change the story line. But in the end, that little blip on the screen was essential for fulfilling some prophetic words, and it was eclipsed by all that went before and after.
Likewise, here, God is doing something that has a much bigger frame around it than I can see. I will struggle a bit, will not be able to significantly change the story line but need to go through it without getting distracted by the dynamics.
In other news, the work you did on the spirit of jealousy seems to have made a big difference. The wet blanket was lifted off several areas of our company this week and it was delightful.
And I can really see how the focus on the Ammonite Curse was essential for me to be able to embrace the next shift.
On Friday God sent me a gift He had sent me a few years ago, that I had rejected. It was interesting to see the same thing come around again. The reasons I rejected it before are still there. The gift is a little rough around the edges. However, now I can see that there is something quite valuable here. It might take some messiness before I can get to the treasure, but the treasure is there nonetheless.
Glad I have spent a few weeks marinating in the Ammonite Curse dynamics.
So there we are on a Saturday morning, since I did not get this written last night. Life looks utterly different from last week. Clarity abounds. Intensity moving forward has not abated. I am quite at peace about the challenges of the road I am on at present.
And I am grateful to those of you who prayed in the clarity this week. It has lifted a huge load off my shoulders.
Copyright June 2014 by Arthur Burk
From home, early Saturday morning