By Dana Hanna
This was not part of the plan. Flying over Denver in a rerouted flight, I was going to arrive late at the 2019 Global Transform Our World Leaders Summit in San Jose. Weather delays had caused this detour, and to be honest I was sitting in my seat exhausted.
I had spent the previous two days teaching an intensive course at a conference, driving back and forth each night between cities, once in a blinding blizzard. The event was an incredible victory for the young people it transformed. Still, I was tired as I hustled from the conference to the airport to board my plane.
Looking back, that weather delay and rerouted flight was a gift from God to give me rest, rest that I really needed so that I’d be prepared to feast on the meal of wisdom and insight that had been prepared for me when I arrived. The sun was shining so bright and beautifully filled the sky with Glory. As the plane dipped below the clouds I was surprised at how dark the land below was. It looked threatening. God reminded me that we win our battles in the valley and the Glory of His Son is right there above us, even when I do not see it.
One of the ways God grabbed my heart at the Summit was when a session showed scenes from the play I loved most in school, “Man of La Mancha.” In one scene, Don Quixote calls out the angel from a woman that others only see as a whore. In the other scene, she calls him back to himself and his quest because his battles had caused him to take his eyes off of his purpose.
I could sense God speaking to me, reminding me that struggles will come in the life of a follower of Christ, but to persevere and not grow weary in doing good, for a harvest will soon come.
God continued to minister to my heart at lunch. I ate with a couple that is actively transforming a large region. I asked them many questions and they were so transparent with their lives. So was everyone else at the table. The people at the table shared the most intimate details of suffering and the Glory of God revealed to them in these moments.
A day later, I watch my friend who is a pillar in this kingdom movement suddenly have to rush out to deal with a family emergency. I learned that another kingdom partner, who is moving mountains in his sphere of influence, suffers with chronic physical pain. You’d never know it if you met him. Another suffered tremendously last year with losses in his family and challenges at work, and yet is doing extraordinary things in his industry.
Is it a kingdom quality to have joy in one hand, and pain and suffering in the other? If you want to hear an inspiring message on this topic, I highly recommend you listen to this podcast by Dr. Ed Silvoso.
Is it a kingdom quality to at once have joy in one hand, and pain and suffering in the other?
During one of the sessions, Father Ed was speaking passionately about our mission. He quoted Isaiah 58:12, which says that “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins, you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell”.
It reminded me of two other verses that go along with what he was teaching. In Isaiah 61:4, it says “…they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up and restore the former desolations, and they will renew ruined cities…”
And Isaiah 61:1 explains who “they” are:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
Who are “they”? Those who have been poor, broken-hearted, captive or held prisoner. I was definitely broken when the Lord found me. But He’s been restoring me, and no matter how much of a fight it is today, I know that the Lord allows those who were restored from their brokenness to be the rebuilders of others who are broken. Just as we have a High Priest who can sympathize with our struggles, so too can we who have been restored from brokenness sympathize with those still broken.
And, as Father Ed teaches, when we work in unity as unto the Lord, entire cities and nations can be restored. Right now, regional hubs are developing around the world to repair breaches in all aspects of society: business, education, prison systems, governments, and even churches.
Because that is what we’ve been called to: a commission to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that the breach between man and God is repaired and the safe kingdom streets in which we are to dwell are fully restored.
There is struggle and sacrifice in the work of global kingdom transformation. The price for salvation is high. But I press on, as is everyone else at that gathering in San Jose, knowing that the prize is greater. Eyes have not seen and ears have not heard how wondrous is His love for us. The price is most definitely worth it.
Dana Hanna is the Associate Director for Transformation Canada.