In March 2007 I was driving my brand new Alfa Romeo into Canterbury on its first ‘Out of the Heart’ outing (see B is for blessing for the background on that). I passed a hotel that Martin and I had stayed in when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Rebecca. Smiling at the memory of having terrible morning sickness for the whole romantic weekend my eyes were drawn to the date on the wall: EST. 1403. At that moment the Spirit nudged me that something new had been established in my life on 14.03! Racking my brains for what I had been doing a few days before that could have been so important it all came together in a rush: an important meeting, a personal decision, a line that had been drawn. Later on I saw the same number, 1403, randomly printed on the side of a lorry! The Lord was underlining for me how important that choice I had made had been for me in fully breaking through into the new season that the car represented.
That is hidden manna. Those who overcome in Pergamum are rewarded with it (Revelation 2v17). This is the secret and personal language of the Lord that I love. To my amazement today – 14.03.11 – I am going to the reconvening of the same meeting of friends that I was driving to for the first time 4 years ago in Kent! In addition I passed the ‘notorious’ ERA door this morning – let the reader of A new ERA understand! – and it was ajar again… with 2 open padlocks lying on the ground just inside!?! What is that about Lord? 😉 Twin open padlocks and an open door to a new era: The Lord certainly has my attention!
It is so hard to understand the things of the Lord with our human minds: that is why there is so much cynicism over the prophetic – along with the whole issue of timescales, of course. Gerald Coates was so badly criticised some years ago for prophesying that there would be an earthquake in New Zealand and they must prepare… because it didn’t happen – until now, many years later than anticipated! It’s the kind of word you don’t want to see fulfilled really: there is no pleasure in it.
I often make the mistake of trying to interpret with my human mind, but only spiritual wisdom and revelation will give us the keys to mysteries. We seek and find the hidden things of God as we search for Him: visions , dreams and signs are there to explore in a deepening relationship of faith in the Teacher (I wrote about this before in The languages of the Spirit)
But it’s a bit overwhelming. Too much spiritual insight actually made Daniel ill! (Daniel 8v27) Our human minds and even bodies cannot cope with it. I have not experienced such trances and visions but even the things I do see can churn up my soul as I try to work them out: sometimes that is the process of intercession and sometimes it is just the weakness of my flesh and personality… As with all of us, my strength can be my weakness.
Hidden manna or inner mania? For me they can go together… unless I keep fully focussed on Jesus and receiving His rest. It was a comment Rosie made on Ebb and Flow that got me thinking about this… ‘Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks’ Luke 6v45 – but sometimes it can come out of a disturbed soul.
mania – noun: (from Greek ‘mainesthai’ ‘be mad’): mental illness marked by periods of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity • an excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession • denoting extreme enthusiasm or admiration : (eg Beatle-mania)
Mania, by definition, is generally not good – the term denotes inappropriate excess. It’s OK, Rosie, I am not offended: there is definitely some truth in your perception. I am a bit over the top – nice people say ‘bubbly’, my husband says ‘bossy’ – and I have lost count of how many times I’ve been accused of ‘trying too hard’, being ‘my own worst critic’ and told to ‘just relax!’? And that was before I was taking Prosac… However, I do definitely prefer being a bit manic than depressed – and happy mediums are so hard to come by 😉
But seriously, folks, this discerning commentator has a point. I know I can be very driven and do like to be in control and try to sort everything out: much of this blog is about me trying to make sense of my life and our current situation, arguing the points from all sides. I undoubtedly have a few good perspectives, but probably wear my readers out with my long-windedness in the process! With all I’ve been trying to carry over the past 2 years a kind of buried frantic desperation has grown inside me and over the last month, with the onset of menopausal symptoms – disturbed nights with hot flushes, crazy dreams and early morning waking – that sense of being right on the edge has become more difficult to suppress.
It’s because what has happened to our family is so intense, I suppose. Whereas many people would close down and clam up in coping with the pain and uncertainty, I have gone to the other extreme! There’s no doubt this blogging business is part of my ‘coping mechanism’ – and a God-given one 🙂 You are all kind enough to join me on the journey, but it is primarily something I am doing for myself. No I am not as chilled and peaceful as I need to be – but I hope I am working towards it… Even more wonderful if what I say can help others work towards it too. But it seems the Lord is on my case – and I am glad, because only He can plant me in the place of rest I need.
I was really shocked on Friday when having spent the day writing about flowing with the waves, I heard the news of the tsunami in Japan: I didn’t know whether to post or not! Another friend’s comment on Ebb and Flow mentions her own embarrassing situation of giving a birthday card with a huge wave on it to a friend on that same day… It seems so insensitive when others are suffering and dying to be talking about waves of blessing and God’s power! Is it prophetic, or just a strange co-incidence?! All I know is it is very uncomfortable and I want to put out a disclaimer: I was not being tactless with that photo, I just didn’t know! It is disturbing to think that part of me did know, like when the sari material we bought in Sri Lanka was found to be ruined by a watermark right through it… But what use is that, after the event? It may be a reflection of the groans of the earth, but it is hardly ‘prophetic’ as in ‘beforehand’… As my good friend said, why could we not be those who give warnings ahead of time to save lives in Asia or Japan – as Gerald tried to do in the 90’s? Or those who dared to predict the flooding of the Thames on 4th March 2006, which also didn’t happen – maybe because we rose up to pray it wouldn’t! Prophets usually can’t win.
Anyway, perhaps waves are a good picture of the might of God, how great He really is, how awesome and overwhelming His Presence; in loving gentleness He brings blessing and life but the full force brings destruction and judgement: ‘Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light’ Amos 5v18. But there I go off on one again – and it’s not exactly helpful to bring God into the discussion of such terrible events happening, as if He caused them… There’ll be enough people out there questioning how such an ‘Act of God’ could happen if He is really good. So yet again we are in ‘deep waters’, crying out to God for mercy, knowing that we don’t have all the answers and cannot save ourselves, let alone the desperate people in Japan… I tie myself in knots trying to work it all out – but as someone prayed for me the other day, “its time to put down the mental gymnastics”
So I forgive myself – and I know you forgive me too, and like Rosie are only thinking of my good. I do need to take time out: writing about rest is one thing but pursuing it is another. Despite – or maybe because of – a week on the road and because of the date today, in view of the approaching 2 months sabbatical that will, I hope, utterly change the ‘screen’ habits in our household, considering the ebb and flow of the tides of the Spirit and that this is my 100th post… its going to be the last for a while.
Three words have been running through my head for the past week: ‘Elijah’, ‘brook’ and ‘ravens’ (see 1 Kings 17v1-6). On top of all that I have quite literally lost my voice this weekend: I can’t actually speak or sing! I don’t need any more signs pointing me towards what You are saying, Lord!
Au revoir, mes amis – until the right time X