It was hard to get out of bed this morning. Yesterday was a full day of shopping we got in late and I went to bed earlier than usual. I dosed briefly before awaking with my body just aching. It seems these days things are a little harder than the past. At 55 I realize I’m not bulletproof like I was in my youth.
Cindy and I are finishing up a brief hiatus in the Texas hill Country. We had sold our house and now were entering the 4th month of being homeless. We have friends and family that are very dear to us that have insisted on our staying with them for a while. We have been settled for so long, twenty seven years to be exact. Well 16 years in the last house. Now, on the word of the Lord we are embarking on a new era in our lives. We are glad for the word of the Lord but not without reservations concerning our fitness for the journey ahead. We had used our home as a base for ministry for years but now it’s gone. The equity we have to buy or build has slipped a great deal due to travel expenses and bills. Gosh gas has gotten high.
We are in the hill country primarily to meet with our pastor. Yes even guys that have been in the ministry for 37years need somebody to watch for their souls. I had recently had a couple brief meltdowns and Cindy had picked up the phone and asked for some time with our pastor.
I don’t know, it felt a lot like someone had hit me in the stomach with their fist. As a matter of fact we were just driving down the road and I saw a real nice house in the middle of a field and Satan or my soul said, “Yeah son, you cut off the limb behind you this time. You’ve got your wife and you out here and you will never have anything again. You are 55 years old and 425lbs. You hurt with some new ailment almost everyday. How are you gonna do what you think God wants you to do. If you get moved who’s gonna listen to you.” Normally I would say, “liar, get behind me satan!” but on that day my courage was gone.
Well we had met with our pastor and was encouraged thank God but still we faced the task ahead. This country boy doesn’t know a thing about the city but the Lord seems bent on us moving to north east Houston. Our third story timeshare apartment overlooks the stunning Texas hill country and beautiful Canyon Lake. We have about thirty minutes before we have to leave and I think I will have the third cup of my Seaport coffee. I poured myself another cup and headed to the balcony to finish these last moments and say goodbye to the gorgeous view.
The balcony is just above the top of the little grove of live oaks at my left. The lake is about ¾ mile in front of me nestled against the early fall colors of the hill country. The temperature is about a perfect 65 degrees. I settled gingerly in my chair and began to enjoy my coffee. Unexpectedly I saw a butterfly not down among the bushes and flowers but apparently it had come over our 3 story unit and was high above the live oaks. I laughed to myself and said, “you silly old butterfly why in the world would you be up here. The flowers and stuff you love are far below. How do you aspire to go above the place of other butterflies?”
I sat their thinking how strange to see this when another and another and another butterfly came over top and continued in a southwesterly direction. At this point the butterflies have my total attention. As I watched them they would labor to ascend and then rest riding the updraft of the gentle breeze of the morning. One after another I watched 30, 40, 50 butterflies continued to move along far above the trees. Some got close and I recognized their bright orange markings. They were the beautiful Monarchs. Because of their beauty I had loved these especially since my childhood.
Then I remembered the story of how the Monarch butterflies migrate to the south in the fall of the year. The Monarch is one of the few insects capable of transatlantic flight according to Wikipedia. Somehow, on this morning of my life God had stationed me squarely in the flyway of these marvelous little butterflies. Some folks might say, “What’s the big deal” but this spoke volumes to me concerning my own journey.
My life has never been like those of others. I have always marched to the drumbeat of the purposes of my heavenly Father. I have been judged for trying to soar to high. I have been rebuked for trying to bring the Church to a place that seems unreal and beyond what’s practical. I’ve been accused of dreaming of a glorious Church. I have believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I have never been satisfied with the status quo. And now these little butterflies are prophesying to me, “Come on son. I know I’ve got you out here and it seems that you are beyond your ability or you grace. However, remember “It’s not by might nor by power but by my Spirit. Labor a little but rest a lot in the thermal updrafts of my Spirit. Don’t give up …… in due season you will arrive and the things I have placed in your heart will be a reality. Then you’ll know it was all worth it. I love you Jesus!