When I was praying in the Spirit, I began to sing, and then I noticed that my hands were moving in a back and forth motion like one who is rowing a boat. Suddenly, I had vision of Pocahontas in her canoe, rowing and singing, the wind blowing strongly around her and beckoning her to follow as it rushed in and around her, moving forward with such strong gusts, and then I heard the Lord singing over me, “Just around the River bend. It’s just around the River bend.” And then, He spoke softly, “Tell my people it’s time to pick up your oar and row!”
Again, suddenly, I saw vision of a time several years ago when a woman I had never met before delivered to me very similar words. At the time, I had been going through some things in a very close relationship with someone where I had often felt like we were in a boat together, tossing about wildly in the middle of the ocean. Realizing the person I was with did not know which way to go, I had gone through a season where I felt like if I could just keep the anchor down on my side of the boat, then at least we wouldn’t get more lost, tossing about from wave to wave, and even though their end of the boat might bob to the left or to the right, my end was secured. It made me feel like I was safe. Only, after many moons of doing this, I had grown weary and cast my anchor down, giving over control of the boat to the one in the relationship who was just as wildly directional as the storms in the sea. When I met this women at a prophetic encounter, the very first words she said to me were, “I hear the Lord saying, you need to pick up your oars and row. It’s time to pick up your oars and row.” How could she know, But God!
Having recalled the first time I had received this word, the Lord began to highlight to me what was different about that first time and the word He was giving now. It’s a word I believe is not just for me.
In the past season, I was a weary woman, given over to the whims of every force that blew. I had let down my anchor of hope and lost my direction of faith. I had long lost the wonder of the stars and my head was downcast between my hands, my body ill from motion sickness. Being told to row in that season was a breath of fresh air, light thrown into a dark place, permission granted to hope again. It was as if someone had breathed fresh air into my lungs once more and the fog had lifted. I could see clearly now the rain was gone.
But this season is much different. This time, the vision was for one person in a canoe. And, the word was to pick up only one oar. Unlike the past season, where I had to row for two, it was clear in this season that the Lord was focused on me. I have learned to row for one, and no longer allow the rowing habits of others to rock my boat. This is not to suggest that you should throw any shipmates overboard! More like, open your eyes to the bigger picture and instead of sharing one boat, imagine two boats rowing side-by-side down the same River, and the good Lord willing, near enough in pace to keep site of each other without the pressure of rowing in sync. Like Pocahontas, I was awakened to the wind around me and have come to know its movement well. Eager to follow its promptings, she is a woman set free from the world around her and has become adventurous in her heart. She longs now for the new horizons. She is actively seeking, not just longing for, what is just around the River bend, unlike some of her well-meaning friends and family members who are always encouraging her to stay near the village. She has become free in her spirit and unbound by that which would keep her close to shore, yet deeply connected to everything she has come to love.
As I pondered this with the Lord, I had a strong sense that I was not alone. There have been many like Pocahontas, both male and female, who have become comfortable with the un-comfortableness that adventures often bring. They have learned to walk in new paths, making new trails in territories where there are no maps. They have been through relationships with others who were like tempests on the seas and have learned to command the storms to cease. They have mastered not only the wind and the waves around them, but have learned to calm the storm within. They know the sound of the Wind and hearken to its call. They have become sensitive to the movement of the Spirit and are actively waiting for it to call to them and tell them where to go.
It was then I heard the Lord saying, “It’s just around the River bend. Everything you’ve been longing for is just around the River bend. Pick up your oar and row, Beloved. Ride the wind and follow me into new territories your eyes have never seen before.”
This is a now word for many of us. Just like Pocahontas was asked to help the explorers from the old world to navigate the new, some of you are being called to do the same. You will lead the John Smiths and the business men of the old world, the mindsets of men, into the new world of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. You will help them find and explore all the new world has to offer them, but first, this time is for you to discover. I had the sense that what awaits behind the River bend is an awe and wonder that your eyes have never laid upon before. A sense of delight and pure joy is coming at what the Lord will lead you to discover first for yourself, so that later at an appointed time you can lead others to it. I see the Lord delighted, like an excited Father ready to give his children presents on Christmas morning. I even sense some of you will be awoken even earlier than anticipated to open the gifts. The River bend is very near, even nearer to some than others. Unlike Pocahontas in the movie by Disney films, who stops and treads no further at the sound of her earthly father and chief, we are being beckoned by our Heavenly Father to boldly row and pursue what is just around the River bend.
And, there are some who will find love and affection on the adventure, just like the love that grew between Pocahontas and John Smith; lives will be changed and hearts opened to see the greater work of the Spirit, as it did among the villagers and the chief. People who were once set on the old ways will turn suddenly and embrace the new. And, some relationships that were new and full of hope will come to an end, when they will decide for themselves to go back to the old world instead of remaining in the new. In these moments, I hear the Lord saying, “Do not lose heart, Beloved. Be brave. Turn your eyes to all that I have prepared before you and know that you are Beloved in all the earth. I have called you by name and prepared you for this important journey. You are much more than the sum of one heart. Your life cannot be contained in the exchange of love between only you and another. What I have purposed for you is much bigger than any one heart can hold. You were born to open the eyes and hearts of many and to place a mark on the map of Heaven that will inspire the whole world to follow. Everything your heart has ever dared to seek is just around the River bend. Pick up your oar and row!”