The Jericho Walk
I remember the incredible sense of anxiousness that was upon me. My father was
about to face his greatest fear ever-open heart surgery. The man who has meant
more to me than any other was facing mortality head-on. The surgeons were delayed
for hours, creating an impatience in us all. "Let's get this over with so we can
get our lives back once again." The doctors told us the surgery would take four
hours to complete. I would go crazy in half that time, what would I do to pass
the time. Mom and I walked with Dad into the operating prep room as far as they
would let us go, it was time to say good-bye. Walking back down that long, cold,
empty hospital corridor seemed as though we were in an endless tunnel. We knew
at that moment Dad was now in the hands of the medical team and more importantly
the Great Physician himself. Shortly after making our way back to the waiting
room my good friend Mike Mitchell walked in the door. We hugged, I wept for my
father, fear was all around me. We went outside to take a walk, a prayer walk.
As we began walking and praying I was reminded of the story of Joshua and the battle
of Jericho. How God commanded Joshua and his army to walk around the city of
Jericho seven times until his enemy was defeated. Mike and I were compelled to
walk around Phoenix Baptist Hospital seven times and pray diligently that God
would guide the hands of the surgeons and keep my Dad in His care. After several
laps around the hospital I began to notice a sense of power that far exceeded my
fear. My fear had been defeated. Just as the walls of Jericho came crashing
down thousands of years ago, that day, the wall of fear I allowed to grow in my
heart had now fallen as well. That March day in 1999 I built an altar in my heart
to remember God's power and His faithfulness to walk closely to me during times
of pain and uncertainty. Dad and I walked out of those hospital doors together as
God had promised me in faith. As we exited the building, Dad took a long, deep
breath of fresh air, he praised the Lord repeatedly and began to weep. This battle
was over, we had victory.
Fast forward 5 1/2 years to Sept 8, 2004. There I found myself in that familiar place once again.
Surrounded by anxiousness as Pam and I said good-bye to Hailey as the doctors wheeled her into the
operating room. While we walked away the doctors exclaimed, "Don't worry she will be just fine."
Pam and I hugged, we cried and then we released our baby girl into the care of the doctors and
ultimately to the Lord. At that moment we realized that our children really are not ours to keep.
They really are just legacies to manage and shape for a very short time. The only thing that
was different this time was that I had seen the power of the Almighty and what He can do when
you give up control and let Him be God. I was all the wiser to the enemies scheme of fear and
intimidation. I would not fall prey to it this time. Shortly after spending a bit of time in
the waiting room with friends and family it was time to take the Jericho walk once again. Mike
was there waiting with anticipation for the queue to begin the walk. This time God had given
me a special gift, Dad would be able to experience the Jericho Walk first hand - he would walk
with us. Stephen joined in the walk as well. The four of us headed out the hospital door and
began to pray. The Holy Spirit was apparently waiting for us at the door as He gave us each
our own unique prayers that were perfectly orchestrated for their moment in time. We asked for
protection, recovery, understanding and faith. We praised God for the testimony of my father
walking next to me and asked for the same power to bring Hailey back to full restoration. We
thanked God in advance for all the good works He will one day accomplish through Hailey. By
the third lap around the hospital the enemy of fear was completely eliminated. Gone. Replaced
with confidence, power and peace. Truly a peace that passes all understanding.
That night I built another altar in my heart that will forever be a reminder to my family, and
generations to come, of God's ability to conquer the fear of the enemy. Is there a special recipe
or formula in walking around a building seven times? Does God require six warm up laps to get His
undivided attention? No. Just a simple obedience that took place between me and my Lord, something
I just had to do. It is a lot like writing this down for others to read. Some won't understand,
some will, others will understand but doubt. For me it is just simple obedience.