Planted, Plugged In, and Prepared
A while back I saw a 60 Minutes special on a free diver named William Trubridge, who goes to extreme depths in the ocean on a single breath. It is incredibly dangerous. He descends 331 feet below the surface — twice the height of the Statue of Liberty — with no oxygen tank! What he does first is crazy. On the surface he gulps and swallows to pack his lungs more full of air than he could through regular breathing. His lungs swell to the size of watermelons. He knows he is going to a dark place and is storing up all he can for when he needs it. By the time Trubridge completes his descent, the pressure squeezes his lungs to the size of oranges.1
The transcendent moments in worship where all of God’s people are rallied together, praising the Lord, are like those fleeting moments above the depths: a dark, hard week is coming, and you need all the sustenance you can get. Never take for granted the opportunity to breathe deeply when you are surrounded by an atmosphere of expectant faith supercharged by the presence of God.
It is also crucial that you don’t wait for a crisis before you get these sorts of rhythms in place. You must train for the trial you’re not yet in. The worst time to try to get ready for a marathon is when you are running one.
We made the decision as a family to plant ourselves in the house of the Lord before the bottom dropped out, and as a result, we had the root systems in place when we needed them the most. Lenya lost her first and only tooth at a weekend service at Fresh Life. And I do mean lost it: it’s still there somewhere, because she dropped it in the green room backstage when she showed it to me. This makes me smile. She is in God’s eternal house in heaven, but the tooth fairy didn’t get her one missing tooth — it’s in God’s house on earth.
Lions are the only truly social cat; their strength comes not from the individual but from the whole pride. That’s why the author of Hebrews warned Christians to not fall into the bad habit of missing church (Hebrews 10:25). Satan wants us separated from the pride so we are easier to pick off. David promised those who are planted will flourish in the courts of the Lord, even in crisis (Psalm 92:13), and as the Lusko ladies and I have made the decision to dig our claws in and commit to the local church, we have experienced great power from the pack.
Each week we bring the first and the best of all we make to tithe to God’s work and invest in Heaven. There has never been a week of our daughters’ lives where this wasn’t the case. Jesus said,
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:21
Our hearts were already set on Heaven before Lenya went there. The Sunday before she went home, she brought her money from her “Jesus Jar,” where she kept her tithes, and put it in the red collection box at church. I love thinking about how that treasure was waiting — pressed down, running over, with divine interest (Luke 6:38) — for her in Paradise.
Proverbs 10:25 says,
When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
Trials reveal foundations, whether sand or rock, but in the middle of a trial is not the ideal time to build one. If you see a tornado coming in the distance and you think, “We should probably dig out a basement or something,” then get ready to say hi to Dorothy and the Tin Man, because you are a goner.
Right now is the time to strengthen your faith. Today is the day to put down roots in a local church and sew yourself into the fabric of the body of Christ. Sing your guts out to the Lord as a drowning man cries for air, even when you don’t feel your need for him. Open your Bible and seek God’s face each morning, on both the days you don’t get anything out of it and the days when the verses jump off the page. Have family devotions with your kids regularly. Mix it up. Take a prayer walk together, or do a prayer dance. Don’t wait. Do it today. Keep your anchor on a short leash.
Watch the Book Trailer
- Bob Simon, “Free Diving,” 60 Minutes, produced by Michael Gavshon, aired January 13, 2013; transcript and video available at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/death-defying-free-dives-push-boundaries/.
Excerpted with permission from Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko
Today is the day to strengthen your faith, to invest in Heaven, to get into the Word and in prayer with Jesus so you know Him a little better every single day. Take a prayer walk with your family! And, come share with us what happened! We would love to hear from you.