Joseph announced to his family that God had announced to him that he was called to leadership.
His father slapped him down. His brothers sold him into slavery.
In Potiphar’s house, starting at the bottom, this rich man’s kid had tons of pain. Betrayal. Racism. Broken dreams. And learning how to work. HARD.
God knew all about the pain but there was a plan that was larger than the pain: unpacking Joseph’s leadership capacities, especially in the area of big picture logistics.
Joseph learned well and moved from peeling potatoes to running the whole show ─ vital preparation for running the empire of Egypt with the clock ticking ahead of a devastating famine.
And THAT is called fathering. God the Father knew that Jacob was never going to put enough pressure on Joseph to unpack his design, so the good Dad took Joseph away from the bad Dad, and got the job done.
Now the modern culture.
Kiddo has aspirations of being great. So he joins the military. If he has a really big vision of himself, he joins THE MARINES.
And going in, he knows that he will have to go through boot camp, and it will be hard and ugly and painful and humiliating. BUT he or she willingly signs up for it, embracing the pain as an essential part of becoming the high achiever they want to be.
What is the difference between the two stories?
Only one thing.
Joseph did not choose to be unpacked through pain.
The kids going in the military are voluntarily embracing productive pain to become better than they could be without it.
Now consider the church over the last half century.
50 years ago in the evangelical stream, all pain in life was deemed to be from the hand of God and was designed to develop our character (as gracious victimization was called). There was no concept of “unpacking design.”
Then James Dobson and John Sandford introduced us to the principle of Design and began to define fathering as an active process of discovery and nurturing, not restriction and discipline.
Simultaneously the church discovered father wounds and demons and plunged into a frenetic season of pain reduction. We are currently at a point where pain is loosely deemed to be a sign of something that needs to be fixed – kick out the demon, heal the wound, etc.
Those skills are not bad but are not a complete package.
Imagine kiddo joining the Marines and spending 12 weeks in psychological assessment and treatment to heal all the wounds accrued in life thus far. That simply would NOT equip a youngster to shoulder a 40 pound rucksack on a long hike or to do 80 pushups.
For that, you HAVE to eat some pain.
Now let’s bring that home to my journey and the situation with Ann’s deteriorating health. Simply put, it didn’t need to be this way. We could have lived into our mid 90s in good health, together, and died in our sleep half an hour apart, with no drama.
It is not happening that way. Through a Father-filtered plan, Ann is suffering a lot of junk and it is having significant implications to my life.
So how should the Tribe respond?
How the Tribe HAS responded is with a blend of compassion, sympathy and pity.
This is a straightforward request for you to change up your strategy.
And I hold those beliefs SOLIDLY, not just theoretically.
So how would I like you to position yourselves?
And if all that is too complicated, then just pray that God’s will would be done in the process of growing me during this season.
Oh, and please refrain from writing me emails, telling me what God is trying to unpack in me. The Tribe has been remarkably ineffective at reading God’s mind and announcing His will for me in this season. He has all my contact information. Let Him make His own announcements.
Y’all just hammer down on the poverty spirit and be sure I have all the resources and all the pain and all the practice needed to grow.
Because my life’s motto – Die Climbing – hasn’t changed one iota.
Copyright by Arthur Burk
Yes, Arthur, "Die Climbing" is a courageous LIFE moto. We are praying for you along your suggested strategy. I shared the phrase "productive pain" with a friend yesterday. She said she likes that phrase better than "God works it all out for good" because it acknowledges the hardship even if the pain is past. Thank you for sharing your journey with us as we learn to pray for you and watch the Good Dad at work. Sending love to you and Ann along with the prayers!
I salute you Mr. Burk.
May you be strong and courageous. May doubt not come near you. May you stay hidden under His shadow. May you become all He has written in your scroll. May you fly into the storm and go into higher dimensions than ever before. May you be about your Father's business. May you be unoffendable.
God Bless you for speaking truth.
Thank you for this.
And praying. :)
Arthur, thank you so very much for ALWAYS going for the gold...the treasures in the darkness or the pain. Thank you for leading and teaching this Tribe in and from the most challenging of places. I pray that The Lord will give you the treasures in the darkness and the riches stored in secret places and that you will KNOW HIM in ever deepening ways! Blessings!❤️
There is a strategic article on C. R. Oliver's Zadok website titled "Carrying in the Spirit" which I feel is my directive for Arthur for this season for - It's not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. Shalom and Blessings
I have walked through this journey with both my parents, first go round got lost in lala land for 15 years (-100 on exhorter scale), several years before the second journey I let Father Father me and it was a different journey, I landed in your teachings and learned and still learning to walk through the pain and Father is faithful to unpack us when we align with Him, and you sir know how to sync and align! Continued courage and strength in abundance to you! Praying as you have outlined and asked! Die climbing is worth it all !!!
I couldn't imagine watching my husband being in constant pain. You're a much bigger person than I, Arthur. Praying for God's will to be done in all this. Hugs
Thanks for this lovely and digestible response to pain! Worth every minute of the read! Waiting to be wowed, astonished and delighted by reports on your transformation as it helps to inform and encourage my own!
Love and Blessings
I appreciate you modeling good sonship in this hour.
Arthur, thankyou for the clarity you bring to us about your situation. Embracing and unpacking our design through pain and heartbreak is a concept most of us don't recognize as needing to be done. Die climbing, what a great image. The Lord is your rope, your netting and your sure foot hold. I love the picture. Thank you for the specifics on how to pray for you, Anne and your family. I bless you Arthur and Anne with strength, courage and God's expectations for you both as your designs are unpacked and your destinies are fulfilled. With much love, Teri
Well, it is a tribute to you as a teacher and a relentless proponent of the values you've listed here, that I haven't been tempted one single time to pray for healing & an easy outcome. It literally didn't occur to me . In the old days, I would always have prayed for the removal of pain, the quick fix of the problem, and the least trauma possible. However, having been steeped in your stuff for some years, as you've been sharing about Ann with us over these last months, the only clear thing to pray was for basically what you've listed here. For the fullness of what the Lord has planted as treasure in the midst of this, and for triumphant process through all of it, in dominion and grace. So kudos to you as a teacher, and I will pray with these specific directions that you've listed here, as well.
Hey Arthur, my thoughts and prayers are with you. All that comes to mind is that nothing is wasted. About a decade ago I emailed you regarding ‘ mercy in the marketplace’.. listening to your teaching, trying to get a hold on my design, etc...Didn’t do a real good job.. had a physical and emotional breakdown, followed by husband passing a couple of years ago at an age too young to be acceptable.
There’s been a bucket-load of pain, prayers and pleading,sadly, mostly to no avail at the time, or even now. Through my eyes.
Mostly the thing I hold close now is that He is a good good Father. The person I am today I hardly recognise . Don’t know if I’m happier, or better at doing life. Only that I wouldn’t be who I am now without all that ‘Joseph’ sh**t happening. And deep deep down inside there has been massive transformation .
Hang in there Arthur and may God bless you in ways you never even dreamed of.
Our family is also currently on this journey. That it is Father filtered rings constantly in my heart. I purchased your teaching on the adrenals and kidneys.
I have just one question regarding “He is trying to grow me.” Trying implies a possibility of failure. The dictionary says - difficult or annoying; hard to endure. Is there a possibility of failure?
I’ll have to ponder this now as I had to work at believing otherwise from several sources... although, this is what my “insides” said was true. It’s helpful b-c it does not get us kicking AGAINST God’s plan. I appreciate this. Thank you.
Arthur, you continue to produce treasure faster than I can read, listen or watch. Nevertheless, you have inspired me to produce treasure too. With appreciation, David
Kudos to you, Arthur! Love the direct approach too.
You're a treasure to the body of Christ. Our Father must be delighted to have a warrior like you to shape and mold in His image, and to bring forth as gold. I am standing with you and Anne - and always learning so much from your journey.
Thank you, Arthur! This helps me hold the perspective of being Fathered. Thank you, God! I am currently listening to the Poverty Spirit CD set and can see God's hand all over everything from the blissful to the painful. Yes, Lord.
I recognise that everything is God-filtered. Events that happened are ways of training me and unpacking His design for me to see. I can accept that. I even communicate some of these teachings to my 95 yr old mum who, otherwise seemingly alert when awake, has for the past coming 3 years been bed-ridden, cannot eat, talk or move, effects from 2 brain haemorrhages. She is a Child of God too. What bothers me is how to 'assess' her spiritual life/ keep her spiritually growing and why hasn't God taken her home yet seeing how frustrating life can be for her? Comments?
Love this Arthur!!! Grow big or go home !!!!
God kept telling me to chill out and go with the flow. My husband accepted his new role better than anyone else around him. His pleasures were much simpler things, holding hands and enjoying the moment. It was a small world. No longer an outstanding Professor of Statistics, but the very best hand holder around. God bless you to find your special moments to share together.
To be chosen, is to be already equipped;
To be further equipped, is to be chosen.
With such an upgrade comes both commendation and encouragement from the Lord Jesus, who walked this road to the uttermost.
As goes the leader, so may the followers.
Thank you and bless you Arthur.
With you in prayer!! Blessing you and Ann.
Thank you for acknowledging the purpose of pain is a part of the fathering process to grow us in our design. I sometimes wonder what He has in store - am I designed for something greater than what I’m doing now? There has to be a purpose for all the pain.
I shared this with someone the other day and I'll share it with you as well: I'm privileged to be your friend in this season of your life.
And I'll do the best I can to inspire you to more love and good works if I can see a way to do so. While believing in you.
Sir, You are a better man than I. May His great grace be upon you in this season of life. Blessings on your journey.
Jim from Little River, SC
“Die Climbing” - YES
My motto as of late has been “Do Hard Things”, I like yours better.
Thank you, again, for saying what I needed to hear. I have received encouragement, correction, insight, and even have some homework.
The table was set gloriously, the meal was fabulous, and I will be savoring the leftovers for weeks. Thank you.
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Praying, yes. Cheering you on, definitely.
Gods best intentions are for you and Ann. Will be praying as requested and as prompted.
Blessings to both you and Ann
Shalom in spirit soul and body. Alignment in it all. And kindness. To all. Especially self.
This too will pass.
Go and be dangerous be very dangerous big brother of ours. The one called Arthur.
Always good to hear from you and nice to be able to leave a comment.
Friend, you made me cry. Not from sadness (well maybe a little sadness) but from joy in celebrating the transformation you are experiencing. He is taking your pain and transforming it into something eternal, something that stands the test of time and redemptive. One of my favorite quotes by Richard Rohr is “...pain that is not transformed is transmitted.”
Thank you for laying out this prayer strategy. I hope you don't mind me using it for a painful situation my family is walking through. It has put into words what my spirit has been trying to speak through my soul but mouth has only groaned and cried "God's will be done, grow us into the fullness of our design with no wasted pain.
Replied by : Arthur Burk
I’m thinking of the many flavors of His grace...not to avoid pain and difficulty, but to plough through the rocky soil to release it to yield its fruit. And to use the stones for a monument to His faithfulness...to the praise of His glory.
Praying here that you and Ann both will be seasoned with His grace, and feel His tender kisses in the dark...and that they will release sparks of joy in assurance that you are both beloved of the Father.
Oh my goodness how we still need to hear this! It is such an encouraging word to me. It’s amazing to “know-what we “know” about inner healing, but fail to miss what Father is trying to unpack in us. I too am trying to learn this valuable lesson in life! I agree to pray for you and your precious wife just as you have asked. Blessings for you to hear Him above the crowd!
Amen. I’am joyfully interceding for you as requested. The word calling stood out for me. As not what we do but who we become along the way. For from Him, through Him and to Him are all things. Closely knitted to Jesus the author and protector of our faith.
This is courage. This is faith. May He bring about in you every good and perfect work He has lined up in this season.
Soldier on, brother. We'll sing cadence with you.
Arthur, when I grow up I want to be just like you...an imitator of Christ, who endured the cross, and despising its shame...and because of that choice of willing submission and obedience, He is now sat down in full authority and glory at the right hand of the Father! Thank you for your example of following in the footsteps of the Master.
How do you recommend that we pray for Ann?
Replied by : Arthur Burk
Thank you so much for the update Arthur. I admire again your grit and determination to extract out of the pain the purpose and the gifts of the King. I have been praying and will up the anti in these ways. And I will be praying for the tribe too.
I am positioned as you requested. Standing with you brother.
Self Fathering - Lion Hearted - Awe Struck - Peculiar Person, I will be honoured to walk with you, inspired, peter
You are a rock star - from THE Rock, shining clearly and brightly in complete congruence with the principles you have so diligently and articulately framed - and living out in real time - for the rest of us. Well done! And cheering you on in prayer according to your request.
Dear Arthur, Thx for the update,
GOT IT--> WILCO! love