"While I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God." - Ezekiel 1:1
A Prophet finds himself in the midst of Jewish exiles in ancient Babylon. In exile, the prophet sees vistas of angels and hears a voice of judgement that will immediately chastise and eventually restore his nation.
At the age of 28, Beethoven began to lose his hearing, and by the time he was 44, he was completely deaf. But in the last 15 years of his life, Beethoven composed some of his most cherished and awe-inspiring music.
Born to unwed parents in 18th century Britain, a scientist by the name of James Smithson was denied the right to use his father's last name during his younger years. Upon his death, Smithson left his hefty estate to his nephew, with the stipulation that if his nephew died without an heir, Smithson's estate would go to a country he'd never visited to establish an institution of learning. Thus, we have the Smithsonian.
From a cold dark jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote one of the greatest apologetics for non-violent resistance to injustice that the world has ever known. The document has inspired peaceful protests around the globe ever since.
Some of my greatest insights have come in the midst of my own restrictions and inhibitions.
Inhibitions of health, identity and human rights cannot diminish the power embedded in dreams, visions and imagination. In fact, inhibitions are the incubators of our greatest insights and innovations.
What context of confinement will God use as a conduit to give expression to your next big idea?
God, help us to never allow our confines to restrict the content of our visions. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.