Empty Pockets

Empty Pockets

Mystify, arouse, and confuse me

Shatter all my plans and illusions

That I might lose my way

Don’t let me see the path or the light

Until I am ready to be led

To the harbor of the poor and willing heart

When there seems to be no remedy for darkness

Don’t fear to sink into it

Let God reveal Himself in all things, thru faith

And trust is my gift back to you, God…

 –Kevin Prosch, from “Every Ray,” Palaquin

Wendy Alec

Wendy Alec

In, Visions From Heaven, Wendy Alec recounts her conversations with God following a devastating two-year illness, which led to her husband’s abandonment.

Wendy and her former husband, Rory, started GOD TV, Europe’s first Christian television network. They had just signed on to work with Mark Ordesky, executive producer of Lord of The Rings, to make an A-grade secular blockbuster film from her end-times book series called, Chronicles of Brothers.

A week after she started working on the screenplay, she was hit with gastroperisis, a virus that damages the vagus nerve and causes intense and unending nausea. The condition was so rare that medical treatment had only been experimental.

iStock_000039953360SmallFeeling nauseous from morning until night, she began losing weight at an alarming rate. She sought healing prayer, medical advice, specialists, naturopathic help, experimental treatment ideas and drugs, but nothing abated the distress of being chronically sick every day and not knowing if it would ever end.

Her children and husband were bewildered and angry.

They lived out of their suitcases.

Their pets were kenneled for an entire year.

They abandoned their home for an entire year.

Her ministry with GOD TV seemed all but over.

The movie production came to a screeching halt.

And eventually her husband left her for another woman.

Trapped in a debilitating illness, she had lost everything.

She wanted her life to be over.

God had been her all in all, but now she was reeling with abandonment. That was the hardest part.

GodYet God was there the whole time. As the grip of her disease began to loosen, she had vivid conversations with Him in the night. God talked to her about the great sifting of His people, beginning with Job and Peter. That faith is proved genuine and strengthened beyond measure in these times. Or not. That people who come through it are prepared for a weighty “mantle” of responsibility and authority for the end-time season that is upon us. He answered her questions with tenderness and compassion.

Still, the trauma of her experience remained like a deep scar. She feared she would never feel safe again. How could such a bad thing happen to her when she had set her love on God?

Hard Times AheadI shared the gist of her story with a small group of women. As I looked around the table, I realized that each one of us had been through severe trials in more than one way—marriage difficulties, wayward children, death of a child, early widowhood, physical illnesses, chronic pain, financial stress, and more.

They seem to accept the idea of sifting.

Some suffering is caused by our own choices. Countless people are wounded by the sins of others. Difficult trials come as “opposition” from the enemy, particularly when we are serving God. But, the idea that God allows severe sifting of blameless people seems troubling.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

All the disciples but John experienced traumatic deaths. Many great leaders went through deep trials: Dietrich BonhoefferWatchman NeeWetherell JohnsonJohn G. Lake… one doesn’t have to look far. Have you ever read the fates of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence?

Signers of DIAs founders of a free nation based on Christian principles, they endured tremendous loss and tragic endings.

It Is Well With My Soul,” is a moving hymn written by Horatio Spafford after being ruined financially by the Chicago Fire and losing four daughters when their ship went down at sea. How did these people choose faith over despair?

The enemy’s strategy is to vex us to the point where we question God. As Wendy Alec writes, “When the body is tormented, you can reach a stage of such weakness. The Father sees the huge reserve of courage, fortitude, endurance and perseverance (you need) just to survive another day. But by the utter grace of God, through the darkest valley, instead of rejecting God, instead of denying Him, I cried out to Him. Do you realize your cry of utter desperation to Jesus is faith?”

iStock_000013584483SmallAt some point, whether in life or in death, our faces will be up against a wall.

On Calvary I stand, empty pockets, open hands…[i]

And there we will have a choice to pick up our cross and carry it. Or not. But some kind of transformation will happen if we do—something we won’t fully understand.

And trust is my gift back to You, God…

Some will be martyrs. Others are being prepared through suffering to carry weighty responsibility.

Let God reveal Himself in all things…

The cross of GolgathaFor some reason, you and I were born during this critical time in history. And if being sifted brings greater things into play, then so be it. For Jesus took on the cross for the joy set before him, despising the shame to gain the very keys of heaven and hell on our behalf.

Should we not also follow Him, come what may?


[i] “Forgiven and Loved,” Night Lights, Jimmy Needham


  1. Being sifted brings greater things into play, then so be it!!!
    It is a scary, hard experience at first and then transformation happens.
    Since most people, even Christians, live at the mid-line level and
    never experience it, it’s hard to understand…other than they’re thankful
    they didn’t have to go through it.

    There is no other way to describe it, other than if you make it through
    this sifting process, transfiguration happens! Praise be to God…God has
    passed the keys to us.

    Happy Easter to all!
    Becky Hamman

  2. The enemy speaks terror of things to come into my mind. I want to avoid being sifted. But for KNOWING that GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT, I would throw in the towel and bury my head in the sand (even more than I do). Honestly, I just pray Jesus comes quickly because I am a scaredy cat often in denial. I mean, in Pakistan many Christians died yesterday at a picnic in a park. A suicide bomber blew himself up. And today is my anniversary and I am all excited about going out to dinner. What can I say?
    suzee B

    • Suzee, it’s honest and realistic to live in the joy of things today, and also carry a heart for the times we are in. Happy Anniversary!!!