“With every step of our lives we enter into the middle of some story which we are certain to misunderstand.” – G.K. Chesterton
When I was in my late teens I found myself in a psychiatric hospital following a suicide attempt. Not quite understanding how life had brought me here again, I began to imagine what a relief it would be if I could reach out in front of me with my hands back to back and pull the curtain of this world back to see the real world, and everything would suddenly make sense. My dream was interrupted by a blood-curdling scream from one of my peers who was hallucinating. Soon I would be taken down the hall to be anesthetized and have electricity shot through my brain in a failed attempt to shock the crazy out of me. I didn’t even care; I just looked forward to the anesthesia. What I didn’t know then was that I lived in the midst of a war, and had an enemy who wanted to kill me and make it look like a suicide. It would be 25 years of a lot more pain and confusion before that curtain was pulled back for real, and this life would begin to make sense.
Fast-forward now to last weekend. I am sitting in the opening session at a men’s retreat–a boot camp based on the book ‘Wild at Heart.’ I’m sitting in the back row looking over the 600 men and suddenly the curtain is pulled back for me to see the truth (again). What I “see” or sense, is that a strong spirit of confusion and fear is coming against the men there–trying to pull a veil over their eyes to keep them from seeing the truth. The truth is that they have a big role to play in this epic story that God is telling. Not only do I see it creeping in over the other men there but it starts to feel real to me too and I recognized it. I began to pray ” Father, please send your angel armies to remove this veil, and take out every lying spirit coming against us now so we can receive the Truth that you have for us here.” The rest of the session was amazing–beautiful.
A veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:15-16)
I guess I always thought that this story we live in began in Eden, but that’s not true; that’s just where we came in. The story began with the Trinity, the creation of the angels, a rebellion, and a war. Then we came into the picture. We were born into, and will live all of our days in a world at war–a clash of the kingdoms. Look at any news media to confirm this. We were created to be Gods intimate allies in this war. Not only that, but He gives us a crucial role to play. We also have an enemy that wants to minimize our role by closing that curtain and convincing us that he isn’t there–there is no war. Acting like a ventriloquist, posing as your own voice and whispering things like “If you are experiencing suffering it’s because your blowing it or God just doesn’t care because you’re not living right, doing enough…etc.” And a thousand other means to distract you from the truth, diminish your worth, your true identity, and your role in this story. And you do have a role.
So who am I? What is my role in this Epic? Well, I am a son of God. I was introduced to my Father in 2012 by this little band of brothers. Christ re-united an orphan to his true Father, AND he used these guys to do it. They played their role, each one of them, and it took each one of their roles to bring my restoration, healing, and freedom. And they couldn’t play their roles without other men and women playing theirs, and so on.
My role in the session I mentioned earlier was to ask God to intervene, and He did; it’s fascinating to me. He knew what the enemy was doing there and could’ve easily prevented it, but He didn’t send troops in until I asked Him to. It’s astounding; He doesn’t just keep us on the sidelines but gives us a crucial role in this story. Our choices matter–our prayers matter. This is precisely why my enemy has veiled my eyes and heart for so long, and why he wants me dead–because I matter to God, and have an important role to play.
“The final test of any belief or faith that claims to provide an answer to our lives is this: Does the one explain the other? Does the story bring into perspective the pages you were already holding, the days of your life? Does it take everything into account? Does it explain the longing in your heart for a life you haven’t yet found? Does it explain the evil cast around us? Most of all, does it give you back your heart, lead you to the Source of life?
Something has been calling to you all the days of your life. You’ve heard it on the wind and in the music you love, in laughter and in tears, and most especially in the stories that have ever captured your heart. There is a secret written on your heart. A valiant Hero-Lover and his Beloved. An Evil One and a great battle to fight. A Journey and a Quest, more dangerous and more thrilling than you could imagine. A little Fellowship to see you through.
This is the gospel of Christianity.” –John Eldredge, Epic
My prayer is for you to have eyes to see. It’s the prayer I’ve been praying daily for a while now. “Father let your Spirit of Truth open my eyes, remove the veil, let Truth fill me, let me be motivated by Love and by Truth.”