Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pick up your cloak

I had an amazing meeting with my pastor today. It actually came out of the reflections I had last Wed about God and how I didn’t want to run to God, but desperately knew I needed to. I ended up giving it all up to the Lord on Thurs because I felt I had nothing left and I didn’t know what else to do. Let me say..best decision ever. It’s been amazing these past few days. Scary, challenging, but amazing. I feel joy and peace and hope again even though my situations haven’t changed. It feels good to be back in God’s arms.

So back to the meeting. It was amazing. My pastor spoke a lot of truths into me and helped me to let go of the condemnation I was feeling over my dad’s death. Thinking somehow I did something and God took my dad to punish me. I know this isn’t logical at all and isn’t the nature of God…but it was a lie the enemy was speaking into me. Luckily my pastor helped me relinquish that lie. But he went even further. He spoke an amazing truth into me.

He told me he believed the last few years I had with my dad, the way I saw him impact others lives, the ways I saw him overcome his own struggles…those are my inheritance from my dad. The same way my dad changed people’s lives, that is what I am meant to do. I am meant to continue the work my dad started. As my pastor put it…there is a thick jungle ahead of me, but my dad went through and took a machete to it…he cleared the path for me so I could go on my way.

The aspect of the inheritance of my father comes from a story I totally understand now…but when I first heard it didn’t get at all. It is the story of Elijah and Elisha from 2 Kings Chapter 2. Elisha is Ellijah’s student and everyone knows Elijah’s life is coming to an end. That the Lord is going to come and take up Elijah in a chariot. Elisha thinks if he stays with Elijah then this won’t happen. He refuses to leave Elijah’s side. I felt the same way with my dad. I never thought he would die. I spent my days talking to him. Precious moments together with him. I mean no one expected my dad to die so it wasn’t quite the same, but I was still living life like God couldn’t take my dad. I even had a dream a few weeks before my dad passed of my brother calling and telling me he died. But I woke up thinking “well that will never happen.”

Just like me Elisha came to see that no matter what…when it was Elijah’s time the Lord would take him. There was nothing he could do to stop it.

“11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

I felt the same way  when I found out my dad had passed. I felt like a fire had come down in my life and separated me from the one I loved so dear. I didn’t tear my garment in two as a sign of grief like Elisha, but I did relapse hard which is basically my equivalent. My way to tell the world…look..I’m hurting, I’m grieving, someone help me.
But the thing about this story is that a few days before Elijah is taken up this transpires:

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

Of course my father and I didn’t have this conversation because no one saw this coming. But we did talk a lot about my purpose. About how I had the strength to overcome things. I believed I could and was meant to help others because of how I saw my dad helping others. And my dad would speak into me that I could and would help others. That when I was sick and tired of ED I would break free and become who I was meant to be. He told me it would be hard, but he knew it would be possible if I would see the truth.
Now onto the whole inheritance part of this. When Elijah was taken up to heaven…his cloak fell behind.

13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

My pastor today told me my father left behind a cloak for me. My father spoke truth of freedom into me and he demonstrated the ability of one life to touch and change so many others through his work life coaching, his interactions with every day people, his unconditional love for his life, and his relationship with me. These are all part of my father’s cloak which he has left behind. My father changed so many lives and he left the generational gift of this lifechanging spirit. The spirit to see others set free by the Truth of God and the love of God…it is my father’s cloak and it’s lying at my feet. All I have to do is pick it up.

This invigorated me. I felt that burning, stirring passion I have felt these past few days. The passion to break free from ED. To step out of the shackles God has already broken off me and be free so I can walk into the cells around me and help others break free too. It is such the desire of my heart. It was the desire of my dad’s heart for me. To see people set free was also the mission and desire of my father. To see people walk in their strength and identity. And he left that cloak for me to pick up. By recovering and letting my story be a message to others.

My pastor told me he was sure of this because of the life he saw in me in that office. When I talked about my dad and my passion for social work. He said there was just an energy…something in my smile that just lit up the room. These were all things my dad told me too. I felt him there with us.

So I sit here wondering what cloaks you all have to pick up. I honestly don’t think you have to lose someone to have a cloak at your feet. Sure, for me, the cloak seemed to fall at my feet to pick up where my dad left off changing this world because I lost him. But I bet if you take a look..there is a cloak at your feet too. Maybe it’s a calling you just know you are supposed to go to. Or maybe it’s a dream you have always wanted to pursue. Maybe it’s the truth that you are set free and just have to walk in that freedom….that the victory is already sealed. I don’t know what it is…but I bet you do. All that’s left to do is pick up the cloak.

You may be scared…heck you may be picking it up angry like Elisha. Angry that it’s all you have right now. For me it’s hard because I have my dad’s cloak but I’m still mad I can’t have my dad. But that won’t stop me from picking up the cloak he left behind. Now take your cloak, go to the water, cry out to God…and see the ocean before you part. See your path, your destiny, your truth before you. Pick up your cloak…and be free. 

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