It’s what you get when you breed terns and turkeys. Not really. A turnkey business is one that’s ready to go, for sale. A deli, for instance, or coffeeshop. One that is fully furnished and equipped. All you need to do is sign on the dotted line—assuming you’d like to run your own establishment—and it’s yours for a price.

Oh, and the word also is another name for a jailer. The keeper of the keys. The key to your cell, your hell.

“I am He that liveth, (this is Jesus speaking) and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death.” (Revelation 1:18)

From one, to the other.

Remember, we’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It’s not the “valley of death”, and also, we are going through. But to where? Honestly, as long as it’s not still in the valley, or the desert (unless God ordains, and so gives the grace), I really don’t care. Provided that it’s where He wants. There are places to which you’d never want to return but you also hold out the card that says that you’d be willing to go wherever God leads. Because where you’re going can’t be worse than where you’ve been.

God is taking your order. What is it that you want from Him after your period of trial? A simple question, no? When you realize that the Person who has everything asks you what you want, I think it necessarily puts us on tilt for a while. Don’t leave Him hanging. God wants to know. “What will ye that I shall do unto you?” (Matthew 20:32) Sometimes the simplest questions take the hardest thought to answer satisfactorily. Oh, God will take a non-specific answer along the lines of “whatever you want, Lord”, but only for so long. God’s a busy guy and when He pesters you for specifics, don’t keep Him waiting with unformed and half-hearted desires. He wants to give you exactly what you have the faith to believe for. And, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34) Think about it and then get back to Him. Write it down if need be, don’t be shy.

But going back to the whole prison/incarceration aspect to life’s difficult times. Who knows how long you’re gonna be in the place you are? You know, instinctively, that you’re bound for better things, but now, you’re just bound. Hold out. Don’t stop believing. Love will find a way. A surefire way to shorten your sentence is to praise and worship God wherever you’re at. The lessons to be learned in a period of abject suffering are succinctly explained, but answers are life-changing as the Holy Spirit has now been released to imbue and suffuse your words with the Power of God. Learn to know God ever better. To hear His voice. To become more Christ-like. These three things cannot be lived with the same mindset that we had before God called us higher.

“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:7) The last verse of a psalm penned by David. One written while he was hiding from an insane King Saul who was hunting him through the deserts and caves of backcountry Palestine. Notice that David cites the one reason for being released from prison: “that I may praise Thy name”. God will accept that. He’s not a sadist, He’s just holy. And if you’ve endeavored to know Him in a deeper way, you’ll necessarily go through a figurative prison sentence in order to learn the love and compassion and forgiveness and patience of Jesus. We get the privelege of feeling a bit of what Jesus felt when He went through hell.

“If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

The point I’m getting at here is that God has prepared the concrete dream that you’ve been wanting during your time of suffering. When you’ve done your time, He’ll give you the key to your establishment knowing that you’re wise enough in Him to see that it succeeds. Some lessons are learned this way and no other.

“…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” (John 14:2b-4)

What do you think? Lemme know! I'd love to talk.

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