“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6
“For we not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” ~ Ephesians 6:12
When my daughter was two, nearly three, she had this horrible tantrum. While this is typical for children of this age, it was completely out of character for her. She was indeed the nearly perfect child – literally. People would tell us to stop with her, “Don’t have another or you’ll be sorry” they would say because she was simply too good to be true – low maintenance would be the words that come to mind. I remember that in the midst of her tantrum, she was jumping on the couch and so I walked over to her and I prayed over her. In true Christian fashion, I ended my prayer with, “In Jesus Name, Amen.” To my surprise, this innocent child looked at me and said with a crazy voice, “Don’t name of Jesus me!”
That was the last time we ever saw this side of her… until she was fourteen and then we entered the realms of hell. She has since, now sixteen released us from hells flames but on the rare occasion, she likes to dangle us over its furry, just to keep us on our toes. One of these dangles occurred not that long ago. What it boiled down to was a lack of communication – let’s rephrase that, a lack of honesty in communication. Therefore, her natural response was simply to say, “I’m not talking and you cannot make me!”
I remember walking into Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee and with my mind, heart, and soul I began to internally pray… pray for wisdom, guidance, direction, clarity, understanding – and patience, more like restraint. When I left Starbucks I headed for my church where I was graciously [enter sarcasm here] told, “If you have any of the Pastors in there, they can’t make me talk either!” As we entered the church, I walked past a door that is always locked but for some reason I reached out to open it and as I did, it opened.
And there we were, in a silent filled, dark chapel.
I grabbed two chairs pulled them together, facing one another, and had us sit where we would begin our starring contest. It took forty minutes before communication occurred but it did occur – when she understood that I was resolved to stay all night if need be – and when we left we had heard each other… no yelling, screaming, or swinging of arms, pure and simple communication.
My son, from the time he was born – even in the womb – has been the complete opposite of his sister. The people were right, too good to be true… HIGH MAINTENANCE is the words that come to mind. We don’t have tantrums, we have meltdowns… violent rages of destruction, like a tornado out of nowhere on a cloudless day and when it’s over, while the debris is all over for us to clean up, in his little world the sun is shining again. Most of the time, extreme sorrow follows his realization of what has occurred but here lately, not-so-much.
I cannot say that I blame the little man; he has endured the pit of hell himself – since he was in the womb and for the first three years of his life, all he knew was violence, rages of anger that came out in yelling, screaming, and sadly, hitting. This does not justify his actions; it simply explains the hurt the child is walking through and the weight of trying to understand something that does not make sense.
Today we had a meltdown, I figured one was on the way from the way he woke; you could see it on the horizon… after ten years of meltdowns you learn to see the signs of the tornado coming, even on a cloudless day.
We were in the car and so I pulled over where we were… Wendy’s. I made him get out of the car, I got of the car, and there we stood, sat, paced… while his sister sat in the locked car watching us. He is just as strong-willed as his sister is; ninety minutes went by before we began to communicate. I asked him some questions, nothing to do with his meltdown… 1) Do you believe in God? – “Yes.” 2) Do you believe in Jesus? – “Yes.” 3) What would you like to do for them? – “Walk for them and cook for them.” As he said those words, I remember I had anointing oil in my purse, so I had my daughter roll down the window, hand me my purse, and back to him I went, with oil in hand. I had him take off his socks and shoes as he sat on the pavement in the middle of the Wendy’s parking lot.
I anointed his feet and prayed to God, telling him that Elijah wanted to walk for him so please guide his footsteps in life and in the dark places to be the lamp for his feet and the light for his path. I then anointed his hands and continued praying, telling God that Elijah wanted to cook for him – “I want him to eat my bread.” I asked God to bless Elijah’s hands to cook for him; even to the least of those around him, that he would see Jesus/God and that he would become the hands of Christ. Then I anointed his head, and prayed to God that he would show himself to Elijah, that he would speak to Elijah, and that Elijah would have divine appointments revealing God to him. I prayed that he would learn to have the mind of Christ by learning how to think on those things that are good and pure. Then I anointed his heart and asked God to give him joy unspeakable.
After the death of Moses, God chose Joshua to be the leader of the Israelites and under the guidance of God, to conquer the land of Canaan – the promise land, also known as the land flowing freely with milk and honey. God said to Joshua, “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)
But God… he did not have them prepare for battle with weapons made by man. What he did instead was rather illogical. He had them march once around the walls of the city for six days, in silence. On day seven, they marched around the city seven times and at Joshua’s command, they gave a loud shout, blew their trumpets, and watched the walls come crumbling down, destroying everyone and everything [with the exception of Rehab].
I am sure that they felt foolish. The logic of the illogical could not be seen until afterward… after the walking in obedience… after the trust in God to do what he says he will do.
When my birthday came in 2009, it occurred to me that forty wasn’t far off. I decided, resolved, that when forty got here, I was rejoicing because I knew I would no longer be in the wilderness but rather entering into the land of milk and honey. It became my motto. In February of 2010, my friend gave me a painting she made for me titled, “Jordan’s Parting” and on the back of it was a written letter where she told me that my new name was Joshua. [I have written about this before – see here.] In the fall of 2010, I mentioned to a few friends that something was coming, God was manifesting something that I could not see or touch, yet, but it was coming by the time I graduated from college and when it came, it would encompass every aspect of my life and it was going to happen fast. In January 2012, I prayed for a mantra and felt as though my mantra for the year was to be Circling Jericho. While I wasn’t sure what that meant, I have embraced it.
Tonight, this is what I know… I know that I have a new name coming, my family has a new name coming, and that forty is just a few short months away. I have confirmations and promises from the Lord through various people and various scriptures that Canaan [figuratively] will be mine. I know that I have prayed over my children and continue to pray over… and that while I am scared, not always sure I’m doing the right thing, the right way, I trust God… I obey God… and I remember…
My God is not a logical or conventional God rather he specializes in the illogical and unconventional. In every battle, I put on His armor and walk in obedience. When I do that, I cannot fail. My house will have a new name and my children will serve the Lord.
“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” ~ John 14:13,14
Here’s to the illogical and unconventional… here’s to circling Jericho!