I have purposed in this blog to cause us to turn our eyes to the future. I have to remind myself that the Sun is rising, not setting. For 43 years, He has saved me from making deathly judgements based on the dark side of myself and the church. He has never failed me. Often the process of transformation into someone more honourable and transparent at the time made little sense. Now decades later, life changing truth has taken hold of my mind and heart based on many of these past experiences.
My first vision was before I was saved. I have mentioned this in a previous section of this web so I won’t repeat myself. Suffice to say, I was shown that God’s heart was to make Himself a family where He would enjoy the relationship with mankind as their Poppa. Fantastic! To never feel unloved, fooled or deceived. My encounter with Him was on the streets not in a church building. As a so called hippy in my time, the vision of the flower child filled love had ended up as a pipe dream. The selfish cruelty of human nature was more powerful than efforts to create the utopia of the yearning heart. Drugs and crime, heartache and loneliness taunted the inescapable need for secure sustaining love.
We ended up in the denominations. I went through the Bible College systems. I guess you could say I jumped through all the hoops. It was much better than my life before meeting Him, yet it was far from the family of God I had seen in the beginning. The old nagging sinking reality had gripped my heart. This was not it. The form of God was there but from my perspective, it seemed like there was not a whole lot of Him. After an incredible break in loyalty that left me devastated, I continued my search. Where does God live? Where is His family?
I was in Scandinavia on a pass that would enabled me by train to travel all over Europe, Scandinavia, and before the wall came down, communist Germany. I searched many weeks on the continent for evidence of the Living God. My search was for the most part in vain and the grief in my heart was exasperated by the fatigue that comes from sleeping on trains. My pass allowed me to go on a cruise in the Norwegian fjords. I boarded the ship docked at the harbour in Stefan-gar. Tired, down and empty, I thought this excursion into nature would lift my spirits. It was chilly and damp. The miserable feeling seemed to go to the marrow of my bone. Soon, we hit a massive fog bank. I was freezing, exhausted and broken in mind and spirit. It was just about when I was at my very end something began to change. The fog began to dissipate. I looked up and saw the wisps of clouds give way to glorious warm sun. Massive cliffs towered up majestically on both sides of the ship. I heard people shout,"see the Orca" [killer whales]. The water was absolutely beautiful. The turquoise coloured water was as bright as the blue sky that seemed to sit upon cliffs as high as mountains. We slowed down to a section of the fjord where a colony of goats frolicked on the stony ledges. It all took my mind to a better place. I could feel some life come back to me.
God began to impress the reality He wanted me to learn. My condition, the cold, the fog and the depressed state I was in would pass if I did not give up! A wonderland is only a few more miles and the fog is a necessary test. Well, much more than a test. I learned it is necessary, at times, to be brought to our own end of reasoning and comfort. Only then can the Kingdom come. The Kingdom will not share ground with the old unchanged nature. One kingdom must die and His doesn’t.
Hang in there my friend. He will come though. It will be on His terms, terms that are Life. There is a Utopia and He is it. A Father unlike any. A Father to heal your heart. A heart made sick from one disappointment after another is not a chore for Him to heal, but an expression of incredible identifiable Love. My vision of God’s loving family is closer than I have ever experienced. He has given me trustworthy friends, friends I can trust my life and my wife to. Contact me and I will pray for you. We will make it together.
Dan Chappell was fathered in the prophetic by Robert Ewing of Grace Churches of Texas in the early 80’s and mentored in “The Heart of the Father" by Jack Winters.
He is recognized trans locally for his sensitive and encouraging prophetic and strategic insight. His gifting is not just for the local church, but impacts churches across the continent. Debbie, his wife, stands with him in this demanding role.