My summer vacation – Work has been hectic the last 3 months. Normally I go back to Montana and spend a couple weeks with my brother in late June. This year I found a quiet spot in our engineering schedule and squeezed out three days plus a weekend in July. It coincided with a date I hadn’t paid much attention to (07/07/07). A friend had emailed to say he was praying on a mountain top on that day. I found myself blessed to be up at 4AM that morning on my favorite horse moving cows to their summer pasture in central Montana. The meadowlarks, the sunrise, the smell of sage, the endless blue sky surrounded by distant snow-capped peaks, and 200 cows anxious to take their calves to summer pasture are a gift of therapy for the soul. It takes me back to my childhood and reminds me who, and whose, I am. It had been hot but we caught a perfect day and made our 15 mile drive by noon.
We had a little time to kill waiting for lunch and the horse trailer so I rode my horse over to sniff the nose of a nephew’s big grey mare. We have always wanted a colt from Missouri and three days weren’t enough time to do more than “ask.” Missouri’s answer was a definite “no” and she whirled and kicked. My horse saw it coming and turned broadside to dodge the blow. I caught the point of her hoof about 2 inches above my right ankle. Like all good cowboys I didn’t even let on that she made contact until I was forced to explain my limp. Although the swelling went into my ankle and foot, I wrote it off as equivalent to a sprain and slept without pain at night and iced it enough to get a boot back on over the next few days. It seemed to heal too slowly after I got home and had limped around work for 2 days. I went and had it X-rayed 6 days later (07/13/07) The tibia was fine but my fibula was broken and the doctor took the occasion to give me a lecture on patient responsibility. There wasn’t much he could do because it was already set and was healing… straight enough that it didn’t need to be re-broken and patched up with a plate and surgery. The pain never did get past a few Advil and I wondered what the “good ending” was. I wondered too, if it wasn’t a miracle at some level to have a broken leg set it self straight and be nearly pain free.
Intercession – The long hours at work over that last 3 months were spent on an interesting vitrification test with some great co-workers that I enjoy. However, my heart was feeling a little drained because the dream to release Kings (and become one) felt postponed. In spite of a new book coming out and new people from all over the world signing up for the news letter, I felt strangely down and the broken bone was puzzling. I spent a few more weeks “introverting” before the Lord finally spoke; It wasn’t about me. The Lord was allowing me to feel the heart beat of many other Kings around the world and inviting us to intercede for them.
Back Bone – Kings are on the forefront of ministry in the marketplace. Finding the release of your dream and walking in greater prosperity, generosity and ministry are clearly battlefronts that God is elevating. Keeping our hearts in tune with the promise of the future without disdain for the present is a key maturity issue. Every day there is something we can do with the help of the Holy Spirit to take a step toward that dream. Broken bones weaken us and make us casualties for a season (4 to six weeks to be exact). Progress is about the strength of your “back bone” in the face of time and adversity. We need the Lord’s help to maintain the tenacity and work ethic to finish the course and reach our dream. Listen to what will strengthen and break bones.
30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Prov 15:30 NIV
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prov 16:24 NIV
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov 17:22 NIV
15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. Prov 25:15 NIV
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Ezek 37:11
The Storm – Kings are the ones that celebrate incredible breakthroughs and victories. To get there they are wired for, and spiritually sustained through, incredible storms of adversity and discouragement. There is always a theological temptation to feel like God is killing us himself. He’s not. However, He often holds his trophies in the storm just to show the world and the devil they won’t crack. Kings are designed to engage and endure the battle. Here’s what it feels like:
12 Like a shepherd’s tent my house has been pulled down and taken from me. Like a weaver I have rolled up my life, and he has cut me off from the loom; day and night you made an end of me. 13 I waited patiently till dawn, but like a lion he broke all my bones; day and night you made an end of me. Isa 38:12-13 NIV
36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Rom 8:36-37 NIV
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 2 Cor 4:11-12
We are chosen to be on the front lines (given over to death). We do experience loss and setbacks and delays that are real. Our bones feel like they are breaking… and it feels like God himself is breaking them – even though He’s not. It’s not just trails to perfect our character. It’s real warfare with a victory at the end; where this present adversity fuels an even greater resurrection. I find that Kings with grey hair often know this while the rest of us are still learning. Regardless of our “feelings”, the Lord never leaves or forsakes His people. Hi resurrection power is always producing “life” in abundance.
Strengthen your bones with good news, pleasant words, a cheerful heart, and a gentle tongue. Let your hope and confidence in Jesus be greater than ever so that your work is even more diligent and wise and consistent. We’re going from Desire to Destiny and one of the next doors you knock on will swing wide open. Keep on knocking.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Heb 12:12-13 NIV
3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,
he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. Isa 35:3-6 NIV
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.