Yesterday, I posted on Facebook: “My final week of kopi catchups and yum cha sessions before entering into CAVE TIME to rest, to receive, to (w)rite and to be readied for the road ahead. #speaklordyourservanthears” And yes, I am serious about it.
As expected, many of these coffee catchup invitations came after the announcement of my stepping down as a pastor of CVCC. Indeed, each of these has been great, allowing me time to share and fellowship with dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The words of affirmation from them have been encouraging too, as are the prayers for me as I face the uncertainty of what’s ahead.
That said, the way ahead is not totally uncertain. The Lord, in instructing me to step out, may not have given me the full picture but I do have an idea of the ministry’s focus. I just don’t have the step-by-step blueprint of how to execute it or how it might pan out. Once again, this is not surprising at all, and definitely no shortcuts as well. I will have to seek the Lord for it. And that will require being still to hear from Him and then having the discipline to write it all down. Yes, cafe time will soon become cave time for me.
When Elijah got to Horeb, “he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him…” (1 Kings 19:9) Thereafter, he received fresh instructions and directions for his ministry. When Apostle John was exiled on Patmos, holed up in a cave, he encountered the Living Word and received a revelation of Jesus Christ and the things that will take place in the final days. As I considered these examples this morning, I was reminded of another cave dweller, John the Baptist. Luke 3:2 records that “the word of God came to John … in the wilderness”, in his cave time, I believe.
As I shared in the January 2014 Newsletter, I have given myself a deadline of 15.04.14 to produce the first draft of my ministry manifesto. The Lord has shown me that this is the incubational, gestational phase of the ministry before it is finally birthed in His good time. On Friday night (10 Jan) the word to me was “not to rush but to wait and I will receive from the Lord; not to birth an Ishmael but an Isaac.” On Sunday afternoon (12 Jan), in one of these catchup sessions, a brother commented, “so you are pregnant with the ministry that God has given you.” Later, I shared this with Serene and quipped, “No wonder I was hit with vertigo on Tuesday morning (5 Jan) and experienced nausea. It’s the first trimester!” God sure has a sense of humour – haha!
So dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, I am preparing to enter the cave for three months. Please understand if I do not return calls or reply emails as promptly, or if I turn down or postpone invitations for coffee and meals. I am not being rude to you so please do not be offended. God willing, we will have another opportunity to catch up soon.
No one can go into the cave for me, but everyone is invited to pray with and for me. Please present me, Serene and our children before the Lord each day; that would be so very much appreciated. And if you should receive a word, a picture, a verse, a passage for me/us, please feel free to share the same with us via email. If it is indeed from the Lord, it is likely we would already have heard from Him and He is using others and their obedience to affirm that even more deeply in our spirits. In any case, your notes along the way would encourage us greatly to know that we are not in this alone. Thank you for your partnership through the ministry of prayer and intercession.
Until we ‘meet’ again … CAVE TIME, here I come!!!