During the early morning hours of October 11, 2013, I checked myself into the hospital for heart attack symptoms. The test results: negative for a heart attack, but positive for stress.
On November 13, 2013, I tripped down the stairs, overloaded with my stuffed laptop case on my left shoulder and my overnight bag on the right, heading out of town. My first stop was Groveland, CA, to meet up with a few good men to evaluate a retreat center for Wounded Warriors, then down to the Bay Area to cram in a few assignments.
Nevertheless, when I was overloaded with baggage and haste, I snapped and tore my quadriceps in three places. All my body weight of 240 lbs. plus 40 lbs of luggage was, in a fraction of a second, transferred to my left leg, which overshot the next two steps.
A loud “SNAP” and instant pain shot from above my knee, crumbled my leg beneath it, and launched me forward like superman; without a cape, with legs kicked out and arms stretched forward, I belly-flopped on the hardwood entry floor from the midpoint landing, only without the superpowers!
In flight, I yelled:
“NO! No …no not again…”
I landed my face softly on my laptop case, but the rest of my body hit with a mighty thump!
I lay there clutching my laptop case, writhing in pain, tears rolling down my chin when I thought of another hospital visit again. We lost our health insurance on July 31, 2013, because our premiums shot up higher than our house payment!
“The Lord will make you go through hard times. He will be there to teach you and you will not have to search for him anymore. If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.” Isaiah 30:20-21
There are many things, which I believe God is teaching me through these injuries and the stress I had been under. God was teaching me dependence; dependence on Him and others in my life. I tend to be too independent and self-reliant, overwork, and overloaded.
I need to take a break from the busy “Martha Neurosis” and pursue the “Mary Calmness” at the feet of Jesus.
I need to live more in the reality of Jesus’ presence and truly rest in that all Government is on his shoulders, not mine, nor the Republicans, Democates, Independents; not the Libertarians, The Greenies, Commies, Socialists, or MAGA.
I need to relish and relax in His governance and allow myself to be swept up in its epic and eternal expansion.
It’s not a matter of whether God is on my side or their side; the truth is, God is on neither the Right nor the Left’s side; God is on His own side. And I, (we) must join His cause and let the “talking heads” of the alphabet networks talk to themselves.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:34
“But who can teach a lesson to God since he judges even the most powerful?” Job 21:22
I need to prioritize His ever-expanding rule of His present Kingdom and tap into its economy instead of creating my own or following the world’s economic priorities, which always leads to emptiness, exhaustion, and death. His Kingdom must expand its rule within and beyond us.
His eternal Kingdom’s expansion within us will inoculate us against the ever-increasing pressure of this world. If we all were to become Kingdom minded and submitted and yielded to the Lordship of Christ, we move from a state of being overcome to a status of an over-comer!
I need to hourly seek out his Wonderful Counsel, benefit from His omniscience (his all-knowing) of me, and listen to his whispers before they become a painful megaphone. God will never cancel my therapy sessions but will forever counsel me. All I must do is to show up, as there is no deductible, no co-pay, and no cost! Oh, and no appointments are necessary, just pray right in!
I need to relinquish my puny strength and my small-mindedness and to simply and humbly stand beneath and behind God’s Mightiness and title, “The God of the Angel Armies!”
I need to exchange my war-weariness and shell-shocked life and take comfort and confidence in God’s authority, who’s never lost a battle and ultimately will win the war. He loves a stacked deck because he loves to come through for all those who belong to him and have the patience to wait on him.
I need to surrender the un-fathered and incomplete areas of my heart, mind, and soul to the Everlasting Father-heart of God. I need to accept the challenge, correction, and discipline, even loss and pain, as initiation (teaching) and fathering from God. I need to agree with the legitimacy of my identity as God’s beloved son, and not the conspiratorial voices of darkness that foist on me the false title of “Victim.”
“Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly,y fathers, and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive, For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them? Still, he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7-11 (NET)
I need to allow the Prince of Peace to usher His reign of peace, calm and good tidings of great joy into the depths of my being until my heart rejoices no matter what state I may find myself in. I need to celebrate His Peace, even in the presence of my enemies, whereby I can feast without intimidation or fear. I need to relax when I open my winter’s electric bill and read it in peace, knowing confidently He reigns even over things such as these.
I need to focus on the quiet streams while driving the busy streets of life and drink God’s thirst-quenching flow, rather than virus-infected cesspools of worldly wants and desires, which leaves one dehydrated and life drained.
I need to completely trust in God’s judgment and enrich my life, every bit of it, with His justice so that all my actions are just and fair, not only to myself, so that I may live healthy and whole, but that the fruits of my life may encourage health and wholeness to others. I need to: “…do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.” Micah 6:8.
I need to be a man who taps into the counsel of The Wonderful Counselor, whereby He faithfully counsels me with wisdom and insight. His counsel protects me from the lies and seductions of the world and from the inner voices of self destruction.
I need an Everlasting, Never Leaving, Never Busy, Always there Father-God, who loves me and you so much that He puts his Spirit in us to teach us His most favorite Name; “Abba,” “Poppa,” and “Daddy!”
I want peace in my life, marriage, home, church, business, and everywhere I go.
And, this Jesus, whose name is maligned, marginalized, cursed, and removed from our telecasts, prayers, and our speeches, from our schools, courtrooms, and public places, came to us as a babe, a child in a manger that became Jesus our Savior!
He is the Prince of Peace, and “…the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with righteous judgment, with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
And, The Zeal of the Lord already accomplished this 2000 years ago!
With so much authority, honor, and titles given to Jesus, don’t you think He is capable of saving you? He is your connection to the Father-Hearted God of Heaven.
It’s far better to listen to His whispers than through His megaphone!
Happy Holidays! …Oh, and please pass the aspirin!