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A secret stairway in the sky

In the midst of this tumultuous era, I encountered a prophetic revelation last week, offering nourishment amidst the chaos that envelops the world. Wars ravage lands, leaving millions to endure unspeakable hardships while the international community appears powerless to intervene. Meanwhile, wildfires rage uncontained, earthquakes unsettle the earth, floods engulf regions, and ice caps continue their relentless thaw. The looming specter of elections in many countries only compounds the prevailing sense of uncertainty and unrest.

In addition to these global crises, I grapple with my own internal turmoil—emotions laid bare from the depths of my heart as many of my own expectations - most of them voiced in prayer - were not met. For the last fourteen days since my wife's second knee replacement surgery, I had to deal with a deluge of emotions like disappointment, anger, entitlement, discouragement, and fear.

In a recent gathering of our small group, a dear friend shared a scripture passage from the Song of Songs in The Passion Translation:

 "Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth. The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of their flowers whispers, “There is change in the air.”

Arise, my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me. For you are my dove, hidden in the split-open rock. It was I who took you and hid you up high in the secret stairway of the sky. Let me see your radiant face and hear your sweet voice. How beautiful your eyes of worship and lovely your voice in prayer. (Son 2:13-14)

Then another dear friend shared an experience she had when her spine was crushed years ago and she was lying in ICU. In the experience, Jesus called her to follow him and they climbed a very steep rock face. She was in great pain but continued to follow Jesus. On the rock face they gathered moss. When they reached the summit, Jesus made a bed from the moss and they could lie there and he could comfort her.

I feel the Spirit might be saying in my heart, "I am helping you to realize that my purpose is more important than your comfort. I am bringing you to a place where you will be able to say with Jesus, "Now my soul is troubled within me but what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? It is for this purpose that I have come to this hour, Father glorify your name".

Without this preparation, without your participation in this new day, you will not be able to find victory in your own Gethsemane and remain unable to say, "Not my will but your will be done oh God". That place of surrender, is the new day of destiny breaking forth. That is what I'm trying to teach you. That is what I am calling you to rise up into."

The moss grows on the steep rock faces, in the shadows where the sun does not often shine. If we do not follow Jesus on the rock face but choose the other easier paths, we will not gather the moss we will need for the bed of fellowship and protection promised at the summit.

This day, this season is a season to climb rock faces. To choose the narrow gates. To choose to wrestle with the temptation to bail out in our own Gethsemane - even if it requires prayers that cannot be uttered and deep groaning that brings blood sweat.

My real struggle was to settle down in the revelation of my own vulnerability and the vulnerablility of the ones I love and of the society we live in and of this world. My struggle is to embrace the brokenness of this life and to let all of it in as if it is an integral part of my life. And to find the love and the purpose of God in the midst of all of it.

My struggle is to get to a heart space where I can say with my whole being, "Not my will be done". I find it easier to say, "Let Your will be done oh God", but when God's will starts to touch my comfort and even my life, and the lives of my loved ones, my will mostly prevails.

We tend to try to circumvent our own Gethsemanes and keep our lives as uncomplicated as possible. But this is a new day - this is a day of destiny, a season where the signs of his purposes and plans are breaking forth. And all he is asking from us is to discern the season correctly and see it as the joy set before us that will help us through our own Gethsemane struggles.

Jesus did not circumvent the Gethsemane experience. According to the scholars, he was told what was going to happen to him on the Mt of Transfiguration, at least six months before that moment, and he was prepared through what he suffered to not choose the wide gate or the lesser rock face but to follow his Father up the path set out for him. A path that ended when he laid down his life for his friends.

In the midst of this, the word from Songs, came like a breath of fresh air:

"Can you not discern this new day of destiny, breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth. The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of the flowers whispers there is change in the air".

We are called to discern a new day of destiny breaking forth around us. If facing our own vulnerability is our destiny; if our required prayer is, "Not my will be done", then we may be able to find joy and hope in the fact that we are entering a season that is preparing the world to fulfill the purposes of God.

For it is in these moments that we are called to rise from the table of comfort, venturing into the unknown with faith and courage. With humility, we declare with Jesus, "It is for this purpose that I have come to this hour, Father, glorify your name."

I think Jesus spoke to me today from Hebrews 12:

"You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses—many who have scaled this rock face before in faith, not knowing their destination or when their release would come. Be attuned to their shouts of encouragement as you navigate this race set before you with endurance.

Climb the rock face without looking down—keep your gaze fixed upon me, for I have ascended this path before and am climbing it now, right before you. I have made a covenant with you to fulfill your faith. I initiated this journey, and I will see it through for both of us.

Do not let the mist of life's brokenness separate us. Stay so close to me that you never lose sight of my presence. Pause when I do, and gather moss as I do, for you cannot fathom how essential this moss, found only on the rock face, will be for your sustenance and resilience.

Reflect on my Son, who endured hostility from sinners against himself, and do not grow weary and disheartened in your soul. Contemplate his path, the rock face he had to climb, and the blood he had to sweat and shed. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your struggle against the temptation to quit and take the wide gate to find an easier route to the summit.

Be mindful that succumbing to this temptation may lead you to reach a different summit alone, without the moss to sustain and protect you. And you will have to climb again—this has been the narrative of your life. However, this time, you have been prepared to make the right choices. All the contradictions and sufferings you've endured have equipped you to bear the fruit of surrender I have ordained for you now.

I will shelter you in my secret stairway of the sky—the hiding place I have prepared with the moss gathered from the perilous journey we've embarked upon together.

Therefore, strengthen your weak hands and feeble knees. You have recently grown disheartened with your own condition and the state of the world around you. You've retreated from the challenge, sought an escape from the continual ascent up this rock face, and neglected to gather the moss. The wide gate of compromise beckoned.

You've faltered at this point before, reaching false summits. But you can choose differently this time and continue to follow me without expecting much reward except for my words of encouragement. Your word for that is faith."

I am deeply moved by this message, recognizing that there is no other path to arriving at the place where I embrace my vulnerability and confront the brokenness of the world. It is in this place that I unearth solace amidst adversity, realizing that fulfilling the purposes of God surpasses my own comfort and even my life itself. This journey can only progress if I wholeheartedly believe that it is through scaling the rock face of vulnerability that I find refuge in the "secret stairway of the sky."

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Thank you so much Hagan. I don’t think prayers are not answered because our words or techniques are imperfect or even because we desire the wrong things or our attitudes are too self centred.

That would make God’s love conditional and thank God that is not the case. Prayers are not answered because there are unseen more prevalent purposes.

That is why Jesus could say in John 14,” Whatever you ask in my name I will give you “. That expresses God’s heart.

But God’s purpose may be to illicit the most intimate expression of love that flows from the deepest act of surrender. So our heart cry in our own little Gethsemane may be not granted for there is…


This is just … well … so well written and needed for this time. Thank you for sharing this, for the encouragement for the journey all of humanity is on and the hope (faith) through the suffering. I was listening to a podcast called, “The connective tissue of suffering” and the question came up about praying and God answering prayers or not answering prayers. Michael Spehn answered something along the lines of prayer not being for God, trying to twist his arm to fit my will, but rather surrendering my will (especially my entitlement) and looking for His will. I think you have captured His heart and will through what you have written. Thank you!

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