Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Mystery cries out for The Revelation of Jesus Christ

88 long days, almost 3 months, have passed since Erica’s disappearance. My continued ‘Are we there yet?’ pleas have even tired me out. 2014 beckons on the horizon, a New Year dawns, but her whereabouts are yet shrouded in mystery. Destiny itself seems lost, and I often feel stuck, just coping with the day-to-day, struggling to somehow stay ahead of the darkness. For our 34th anniversary in July, I wrote in her card: ‘I look forward to opening up new horizons with you!’ but these words now feel empty, mere letters on paper.
The unknown is puzzling, baffling, painful and frustrating, a mystery that cries out for revelation!
Doubt + fear presume the worst: the New Year will herald no better news than this end of the old.
And a lack of any substantial evidence only heightens the confusion: are these death throes or birth pangs?
I’ve cried out, ‘Lord, You know where Erica is! Surely it’s not too hard for You to reveal this secret to one of your prophets, or just a simple, humble member of your body or even me, her husband?’
But silence.
Only a few unsubstantiated leads that led nowhere. A 12-second video that beckons me to follow her out of the picture as she steps into an unknown beyond. How could she simply vanish from the centre of Abbotsford on a Saturday afternoon, one of the busiest times of the week, without anyone seeing her?
And so here I’ve waited: seemingly stuck, at the end of a trail without further leading.
It’s a road somewhat parallel to what the disciples walked that Friday afternoon when they took Jesus’ lifeless body down from the Cross and laid it in the tomb. It appeared to be the end for so many hopes + promises, now dashed, without purpose, making no sense, seeming nonsense, begging God-sense. His previous words of resurrection must have sounded like my meaningless clues, pointing nowhere. Darkness begging light. Limited horizons. Challenging and defying like closed stone fortresses, barring, foreboding, forbidding any access, let alone forward progress.
And similarly I sense mystery and apprehension pervade much of today’s Church’s outlook as we stand at the end of the old and beginning of this New Year. We seek reality to promises still seemingly distant and beyond our grasp on both personal and global stages. Unfortunately, we often hear more pathetic speculations than prophetic revelation.
Well-meaning but nevertheless empty platitudes. Pollyannesque feel-goodisms, bereft of substance.
Mere New Year’s resolutions when our hearts cry for resolution.
Just like my many attempts to turn off the last 3 months’ nightmarish reality show and switch to the more positive gospel channel.
However, there is a balanced Word + Spirit resolution to our searchings. Those who wait on the Lord will rise up on both wings. He lifts us out to bring us in. For me, resolution of my Erica mystery is inextricably linked with the revelation of Jesus Christ. He alone is my solution. When He died on the Cross, He proclaimed a triumphant gospel: ‘It is finished!’ and the veil that separated us from God was torn in two, supernaturally from top to bottom.
The Way was then opened, once and for all, and still is: Jesus has been removing veils from troubled hearts, depressed minds, and lost souls ever since.
Erica, my bride, is not hidden from His sight, nor is His will for His Bride, His Church.

My life in retrospect has been like a play: acts with crises when God has miraculously and mercifully intervened and broken through those personal horizons of fear, doubt and confusion just when I was ready to give up.
My search for truth led me from ‘higher education’ to the end of my rope. Much like Ecclesiastes’ Preacher, I searched out money, politics and religion and found them all wanting. My backpack + I explored Eastern Europe and communism’s empty promises, crossed the natural and spiritual deserts of North Africa and the Koran, wandered from oasis to oasis in Israel, but I came back unsaved and more miserable than ever until… God revealed His Son in me. Words broke spontaneously through my own heart and lips and I gave up ‘the pursuit of knowledge and found the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ’! It was definitely a revelation beyond myself.
Years later, pastoral discouragements again brought me to the end of myself and I confessed my frustrations to Erica. I felt I’d gotten a 3-fold bad RAP: Rejection, Anger + Pain out of life and ministry. She prayed for me and a mere week later God broke me on an Ag-Rec concrete carpet and sovereignly walked me through healing in the Father’s Heart like I’d never before experienced. For my rejection He gave me His unconditional Acceptance; for my anger, the peace of the Prince of Peace, and for my pain, He carried all my grief + sorrows + released a flood of Joy through me! 4 hours on the Father’s operating table and I got up a changed man and we both knew the difference.
Again a few years later, I’d just come back from my first Asian Missions trip and fever racked my whole being. My doctor said it was the flu, but after 7 cycles of drenched sheets every night + not eating for a week, increasing hallucinations left me dangling in a never-neverland of nightmarish dreams. But at the darkest hour, I heard a voice, His Voice speak: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ and I knew He was and would bring me through.
I was miraculously healed just before malaria’s final wave threatened to sweep away my life.
A few more years, and this time Erica’s life hung in the balance one night and God intervened again.
He gave me the first part of Job 23:10 ‘He knows the way that I take’ and with a renewed confidence that His way wasn’t finished, I felt Him remove the burden and Erica was restored by the next morning.
This time I stand at a similar crossroads and He has given me Job 42:5, the final chapter:
‘Before my ear heard of you, but now my eye sees You.’
I want nothing less than to see Erica, my wife, my bride, again and I am convinced her revelation is contingent on a further greater revelation of Jesus in my life. Like the Emmaus Road disciples, my eyes have not always recognized Him walking with me on this journey. Yet I want to see and know Him more for who He is and embrace His purpose in this. He alone can break the bread and open my eyes. And in His eyes I know I will see her.
The mystery of Erica is revealed through the Revelation of Jesus!
He alone makes all things new. That’s what The New Covenant entails and releases! And that’s what we and His Church need to see and hear at this crucial time in our world’s history. Our preoccupation with speculations have become distractions; only a focused prophetic revelation of Jesus Christ can uncloud our vision.
We have learned to analyze our complicated problems better than accept His simple solution.
We need renewed vision, not just more visions.
We need Son-glasses to see Him and what He sees, The BIG Picture, and effectively do what we see Father doing.
‘The testimony/ revelation of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ (Rev 19:10)
He alone merits our undivided attention. Kingdoms fall; only Christ’s heavenly kingdom fills.
Seeking insight, increase, and power as means and ends in themselves disregard His firm admonition to ‘Seek Him and His kingdom!’
Answers to our own personal plights as well as world peace come through a fresh, vibrant walk from glory to glory, even if it means going through floods and furnaces of suffering. The answer to our cries for a ‘word’ of direction lies in a greater revelation of The Word Himself – Jesus Christ by the revelation of His Holy Spirit.
He must increase so I can decrease.
Lord, Fill us with Your Word + Spirit, so we will be less filled with ourselves + more prepared to receive + give You to the world’s hungry + thirsty.
Life is a paradox: ‘Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it!’
I do know one thing in this mystery: it’s been proven in our lives and ministry over the years.
Jesus is with Erica + she is with Him. Whether she’s already in heaven or still on earth, I don’t know; but they’ve walked together since she was 5 years old and He has never forsaken her, nor has He now.
I trust she will be revealed both in His time and place.
This is more than just a New Year perspective. Jesus makes all things new!’ and so I have this confidence:
He calls us to move forward. The dawn breaks, the horizon of God’s destiny beckons us to follow.
I am not stuck and neither are you. So let us press on, laying hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of us, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward with a new day breaking overhead.
I must continue to answer His call to ‘open up new horizons’ even though we cannot do this physically together.
I know Erica would agree.
Thank you for your continued love + prayers. They mean so much to our family.
We pray this New Year will open up the treasures of His Heart to + through you + your loved ones!

1 comment:

  1. That's quite a message Henry. I remember you and Erica from way back in the day at Bible Fellowship Church in Surrey. We attended there for a couple of years and at the time you and Erica were just newly engaged and about to be married. I'm sorry for your loss, I am shocked at the news that Erica, a vibrant loving light filled soul is no longer with us. I can only imagine how devastating this is for you, your children and grandchildren. Bad things happen to good people, only God and His angels know the full truth of what happened to bring Erica's precious life to such a tragic end. I sincerely hope in the days ahead as you grieve your loss that the comfort of His Ruach HaKodesh is ever near for you and your family. I pray that others will remember Erica as the joyful person we knew her as, so full of promise and hope, compassionate and giving, a gentle soul whose mission apparently was accomplished on this side. You now have a very steep investment in heaven, one day there'll be a great reunion and won't it be grand to see her again with all our loved ones gone on before. Shalom Henry.

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