I came home from the meeting empty. It had been one of those meetings where my heart was just not seeming to connect. Each person I prayed for I felt nothing. I felt as if I was simply going through the motions. Just doing what I had done for many years. This time was different though. I could not connect. I wanted to see people healed, delivered and set free. They were. But all I was doing was walking down the rows. It seemed like they never would be done. The meeting was over. I was spent, disappointed and frustrated. I arrived at the home folks had given to me to stay in, to work out of. I did not want to see anyone. As I walked downstairs I could hear someone whistling. I got the stairs and walked into the beautiful space. The light was bright and here was this old friend. Over by the fireplace. He had taken the newspaper article and the coverage and cut it out. On the mantel he had placed the advertisement someone had paid for. I was not “happy”. I was at an all time low. My best for me was not enough. All the words of congratulations and such were not getting to me. I was in a very difficult place. I knew I could not alienate people and yet right now people was not what I wanted or needed… Or so I thought. I walked over to the beautiful table and there on the table was an advertisement for a night out with dinner. A “take your wife” and go. It was a gift from a woman and her husband who I had been in ministry with. The feeling I felt in that moment was overwhelming. I found myself being pulled to a chair, as if I had been caught in a strong undertow.
I awoke and I heard the Lord say, “Tell them they are done when I say they are done. Many people need to know what it is to love and to be loved. You have cried over people and you are about to see your answers.”
As I reflected on the words and the dream I saw more and more people, particularly friends from ministry who were in the dream. I had not seen many for years. Some had burned out, some had been removed while others just walked away. Some experienced change that rocked their world and their ministry world. The difficulty was they could not carry it. (I understand the feelings.)
We are in the midst of a great change. Many of these men and women have “hidden out”. They have moved, going to quiet fellowships where people did not know them. I get that. My wife and I experienced a time like that in ministry where we had 8 folks who had been ordained sitting in our midst. I wanted them to “do something” and they wanted to recover, sit, rest and figure things out. We are in a season where those folks are about to be found. They have moved into a place like “Welcome Back Kotter” to a neighborhood. Why?
The day has come at last
Our precious jewel has returned
I’ll be the first to say welcome back
Oh welcome back
I say welcome, welcome, welcome
I get that things did not work out the way you planned. I understand your hurt, even your pain. I get they did not treat you right or well. I see they did not do it “your way”. I get it.(Oh,my wife and I have been there.) There is still a part of you that longs for what was. To see God move. To be used of God.
It is like the line from Cheers. Sometimes you want to go. Where everybody knows your name.
I truly understand. I have taken off like Jonah, gone to the desert like John the Baptist and hid after amazing things like Peter. But somehow, amazingly enough, God met me where I am at. (And if you have the “misfortune” to have been in my life and wandered away, thinking this is the way it is “always” going to be, I am about to see your life overturned. I am praying.)Like Joseph you made it through the pit and ended up in the palace. Somehow circumstance landed you in “prison”. You were content to minister to baker, a butler and perhaps a few others, but there is coming a day. Folks are going to call for you. It will be easy for you to think this is “not my may”. Perhaps if you are really honest, like myself in the dream you said “My way or the highway”. God said “okay, we will take the HIGH way”. You have said “but God” but I am here to tell you BUT GOD!
As I thought about the dream and all that was involved, I saw a theme. Older folks were being used by God. Older folks had been asked to help out. Not to clean up just the mess, but to share the thoughts of a generation gone by. We know how to fix things, to make things and use things. We know how to do, in the midst of the need.
I hear the words, “they need us”. Just wait. There is about to come a “call from the hall”. To my friends who are older you are about to be pulled out and pulled in. So, do not be like Jonah and run further. God is on the move for you. We are in the greatest move of love the world has ever seen. It is time to allow yourself to be moved by God.