by Marilyn Ongkili
I was stuck! Reeeeeally stuck! I didn’t even know such a thing was possible!
I had put my hand into our freezer (above our fridge) and somehow managed to get all four fingers stuck to the bottom of the freezer! The second my fingers made contact with the bottom of the freezer, I knew I was in big trouble! Instantly they were stuck in such an intense way that I knew there was no possibility of me pulling them back up, without serious damage. The pain escalated rapidly. I couldn’t reach anything with my free hand, so there in an awkward, painful position, I began to yell for my husband, Alex. Fortunately, he was home, and after awhile of yelling, he heard me through a few closed doors and came running. Imagine his perplexed and shocked look when he saw me with one hand stuck to the inside of our freezer! Immediately he grabbed some water and poured it on top of my hand. But this did not have the results we were hoping for. Instead of freeing my trapped fingers, the instant the water made contact with the freezer, it froze, forming a wall of ice around my already freezing fingers! We knew that normally water will melt the ice that is stuck to your skin, freeing your skin. But my fingers were not stuck to ice, so there was nothing to melt. They were stuck directly to the source – the bottom base of the freezer itself. Alex tried pouring a variety of temperatures of water over my hand, while I yelped in pain, trying to pry my fingers up. This process went on for what seemed like ages, as we simultaneously cried out to God for me to be released from the relentless grip of the freezer!
The whole incident sounds so crazy and almost unbelievable as I write about it, and yet the pain and look of my fingers even until now, remind me of how real it was. Finally, I was able to slowly find release. Not for any logical reason or anything profound that we finally did, but I think simply because God heard our cry! All four fingers suffered from severe frostbite! Now, the on-going joke (which isn’t very funny to me quite yet) is that a Canadian girl from the land of snow, managed to get frostbite in the hot, tropical land of Malaysia! For the next several days, all four of my fingers were extremely swollen, excruciatingly painful even while on extra strength painkillers, and could not be bent at all. Some parts had gone completely numb, while certain other parts had hypersensitive nerves, so that even the slight touch of my bed sheets at night would jolt me awake in unbearable pain.
Later that same day we picked up our dear friend, David Demian from the airport and headed up the mountains to have a retreat. The next morning, as I stumbled out of our room after a sleepless, painful night, David was the first person I saw. He greeted me, asking how my hand was doing and then said, “I hate saying this to someone who is in a lot of pain, but what happened to your fingers is very prophetic.” This certainly got my attention!
David went on to explain to me. 1 Corinthians 6:17 is the key verse for the “40-Day Yielding” that many of us across the globe are of going through right now. It says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” David explained that the Greek word used in this verse for “joined” is “kollao”. This word does not refer to a weak or casual joining, but rather to glue together, fasten firmly together, in such a way that the two become inseparable. And if the two actually do manage to be torn apart, there will be severe damage. Wow! This is exactly what had happened to me in that relentless freezer!
The Bible chose the word “kollao” to describe us being joined to the Lord. This means that when I am joined to the Lord to this extent, if I try to separate, I will take a piece of Him and He will take a piece of me. There is no way to have a clean separation. So, to protect the things that are glued together, it’s better to leave them together. Because if you separate them they will rip apart and none of them will be functional any more – which was exactly the case with my fingers! Although I finally managed to separate from the freezer, my fingers could not function properly and the damage caused was so severe that eventually each finger developed a huge blister and now the old, damaged skin is all peeling off.
Sadly, some people do eventually rip themselves away from the Lord or to people within the body that they have been joined to. And then, similarly to my fingers, they walk around with parts of their hearts completely numb and other parts hypersensitive to everyone around them, always misunderstanding people’s words, actions and motives and constantly overreacting.
So what had happened to my fingers was indeed extremely prophetic! I had experienced in the natural exactly what we were talking about in the spiritual. As we are going through this “40-day Yielding,” the Lord is wanting to glue (kollao) us together with Himself, so that we cannot go anywhere without Him anymore. So that we cannot departmentalize Him in our lives. So that when we go to our work, He’s there. When we go to our house, He’s there. When we spend time with our kids, He’s there. In our business, He is there. At school, He’s there. Because we are totally joined to Him. We are one with Him.
Throughout the past year, I’ve been consciously pressing in and praying for my heart and whole being to be aligned with the Lord. This is great, and I will continue to do so. But now I see that being joined with Him is even far greater. Alignment can come and go. But when I’m actually joined with Him in the way that 1 Corinthians 6:17 is talking about, it will be impossible for me to come out of alignment with Him, because we are actually one. Jesus says that just as He and the Father are one, He wants us to be one with Him. So let’s continue to yield to Him and walk more and more in the reality of this powerful verse – so that we would be joined with our Lord in an inseparable way, so much so that we would become fully one with Him.