The last two days have felt like something I witnessed as a child at my grandmother’s farm. We were going to have fresh fried chicken for dinner this day and so of course, the chickens had to be butchered! I followed my grandma out to the chicken coop where she quickly grabbed a couple of those plump chickens, methodically walked over to a tree stump there for just such moments, and with one skillful blow of the hatchet, chopped off a head and slammed the now headless chicken between a table in the yard and the back of the garage. Pinned between the table and the building, their now headless bodies wriggled and flinched, legs scrambling in a useless attempt to get away. As a child I was grossed out but fascinated at the same time; I finally understood where the saying, “like a chicken with its head cut off,” came from as the lesson wriggled there right in front of me. The last two days I felt like those chickens. Flailing mercilessly at an unseen opponent, not knowing whether to turn to the right or the left and, if I actually turned, I still wouldn’t know which way to go.
What do we do as Christians, when life changes and we find ourselves thrust into a situation that is foreign and uncomfortable, perhaps even seeming almost dangerous at the first? We do what our entire lives of listening to our pastors has taught us – run to Jesus! While I’m not going to give you a specific account of what my past two days contained, I’d like to share my process in the hopes you will gain a new strategy when you next find yourself in a “headless” state.
The news hit. My initial reaction was one of total dismay and almost simultaneously, emotions. OK, I get it, I’m a woman and I was made with emotions. A man might react differently, as my husband in fact did. While he remained calm, I fell apart. My mind catastrophized the incident; I went to every single negative place my mind could imagine as a result of this news. My husband, well I can’t rightly say where his mind went because he didn’t share much with me initially. I guess he was chewing, trying to get his logical mind around the situation.
Funny thing was that in spite of what I saw as very disturbing information, I was aware that I wanted, more than anything, for Jesus to show up in the mess. “What do you want me to do Lord? Where do I begin to unravel this mess?” I pleaded with God. I heard nothing. Coincidentally (I’m only using this word because it fits the moment, but not for even one second do I truly believe that when I cry out to Jesus, the things which follow are a coincidence), this day I received two phone calls. One from a Christian brother in our body, offering a “word from the Lord” for me. The word? It was a truly uplifting and wonderful word from the Lord, a true prophetic word of encouragement. The second call was from a Christian sister, also from our body, telling much the same as the first. As uplifting as both these calls were, they almost seemed like nonsense under the weight of what my husband and I were dealing with.
The next day was about the same. Same foreboding thoughts, same emotional response. That evening, yet another message from God from a very unsuspecting and kind man, who really had no idea what his message brought in the way of encouragement and comfort. The odd thing about all three of these contacts was they literally came out of left field. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had someone in my church come up to me with a prophetic word! It’s probably been almost eight years ago when I was dealing with cancer and loving brothers and sisters in the Lord were interceding for me in that journey. It is with this in mind that I refute the coincidental nature of these words. I have walked with the Lord too long; whatever follows any cry to my Savior, has turned out to be His divine process in action and it is all to be savored.
So, three days into this the fog has lifted. Is it still disturbing? Yes. Is it still confounding? Yes. Do I have any inkling as to the outcome? No, not yet. But here’s where I land in the midst of this thing. I am to continue walking. I cannot guarantee it will be in a straight line because I don’t know what is waiting just around the corner in this unfolding drama. What I’ve come back to is that, in part because my sweet, sweet Lord saw fit to deliver three messages to me from people who have no idea what it’s all about, there is a way through. My job is to get my wits out of the drama of it and decide what the best course of action is – at this particular moment in time. Whatever comes from walking through this, I know He’s walking with me.
So, the line of defense is this:
1) Cry out to Jesus. Don’t wait. Don’t try to be strong. Just go to Him and tell Him what’s on your heart.
2) Allow yourself to settle in the process. Waiting two days was a torture of sorts, but I truly didn’t know what to do. So I went on with life as usual and continued praying about the situation.
3) Look for the Lord in the midst of the problem. In this case, it was the delivery of three distinct messages, sent from people in my life. I wasn’t absolutely sure of their meaning, so I continued on.
4) Determine the next logical step. For my husband and I, the next step was to go to our covering (our pastor) for his input.
5) Get into the Bible. We are searching through the Word for His truths. Our pastor gave us some really good advice on what to look for. Sometimes the relevance of the Word might look difficult to grasp but it really does address our needs in all areas of our lives. If you need help with this aspect, do not hesitate to go to your pastor or someone who is well versed in the Word for help.
6) Walk. We recognize this one is going to be a journey; it cannot be resolved today. So, we must continue on with our life as usual and we must trust that He is guiding us to what we need in this situation. We will continue to touch base with our pastor as we go.
If need be, go back to step one and start all over again!
I hope this might help you in your walk with Jesus. I may need to come back to this in a few days and remind myself of what I just said. But here’s the good news: I don’t feel like the headless chicken anymore. My peace is back. God wants me to have victory through this because He’s on my side. Hallelujah, His victories are coming!
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 (NKJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)