ONE day a couple months ago I laid in bed beneath a comforter and the first shuddering aches and chills from the illness that has upended my existence for ten weeks now, praying through chattering teeth and weeping for God’s people, the eternal Church. I asked that His sheep may know Him, and that I might play a role in telling others about His reality and the vast depths of potential and possibility for those who live and move and have their being in Him. There was an intensity to the thing that seemed strange to me at the time (because I’m normally selfish and pray about my own concerns). If my family heard me through the uninsulated inner walls of our home, I’m sure it seemed weird to them too.
Of course, I couldn’t know on that day that I was entering an extensive period of sickness which would give me ample time to think about the plan of God and my place in history and the Church. For years I’ve wanted to write a book to open up some of the truth God has shown me and some of the experiences He has led me through. It’s not pride but humility and thankfulness to God that makes me realize He has placed a treasure within me – a deposit of His Word and the applicable giftings to arrange that truth so that hearers can be fed and find satisfaction.
But it seemed like whenever I sat down to start drawing up an outline or form or even a starting point for the work, I wouldn’t get anywhere. So after I finally came to grips with the notion of being out of work for awhile, and once my mental and physical functions returned enough that I wasn’t lying around in a stupor all day, and after a number of false starts and frustrated attempts, I started praying about it, about where to begin. There has been no clear direction for a few weeks. Then, last night, a dream. A simple dream:
I was standing with Sikki in a parking lot – I’m not sure where – when a group of people approached. Some were wiping tears, and others saying, “Hallelujah!” I understood they were weeping tears of joy. They told me they had just read one of my books, particularly a section about the process of becoming, about finding purpose in life as the Word of God is manifested and worked out in real-time daily existence.
I didn’t remember the dream when I woke up. I got going around seven and made coffee and started my morning routine, which normally includes time in God’s Word. At the outset my daily plan brought me to these words:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that your joy may be complete. — 1 John 1:1-4 ESV
As I finished reading the last line, I suddenly remembered the dream and the content of the writing the people said had blessed and helped them. The life was made manifest…and we are writing these things so that your joy may be complete. Today, day #14,758, God has narrowed the field of possibilities and given me a starting point. Thank You for speaking, Father. Thank You for answering prayer.
But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say everything that I command you. — Jeremiah 1:17