A Tale of Two Kingfishers!

by | Feb 25, 2010

The KING is dead!

I am a keen amateur bird watcher and undoubtedly some of my favourite birds are the kingfishers. The combination of their striking colours and spectacular antics in pursuit of supper make them fun to watch. A few months ago whilst on a ministry trip to a church in Rhuwa, Zimbabwe I noticed a gorgeous brown hooded Kingfisher flying around the property  and I hoped to observe it more closely in the days to come. I got my wish, as early one afternoon as I sat on the patio preparing a message that I on Acts 2:17-21 I heard a loud bang from the glass doors beside me. I turned and saw the Kingfisher had flown into the doors, it twitched one last time and lay still. Dead. 

I know this may seem slightly odd to some of you but yes, I did pray for it to be resurrected, I even considered CPR, (as I mentioned I love birds) but all was in vain and my beautiful blue friend set out for the happy fishing grounds of heaven. (No, I don’t know if animals go to heaven, I just hope they do!) I pondered the incident for a few days as the timing and the manner of the incident struck me as being slightly…well, “Fishy”. I have learnt that sometimes if unusual coincidences happen around my life God may be trying to get my attention or to tell me something. At first, I could see no significance to what had happened, and then as I got up to deliver the message I had been preparing that afternoon I sensed God whisper to me 

 “Nigel, the Kingfisher is dead, the time of the King Fisher is over!” 

I knew that he was not filling me in on the health of my feathered friend but immediately a truth came alive in my spirit that a shift is happening in the church, a shift which will see the locus of power in the body of Christ move away from the pulpit into the pew. That the time when the church would seem to be personified by a small number of dazzling, gifted, anointed individuals who do the majority of the fishing was over. That God was pointing to the fulfilment of Joel’s prophesy, which Peter restated in Acts 2, a time when the whole body of Christ would be covered in God’s spirit and anointing. I believed that I had really got the message, then two days ago it happened again, this time to my wife Debbie. As she was walking out of Beacon bay life hospital she came upon a man looking down at the ground. Following his gaze she saw a Malachite Kingfisher had just flown into the glass doors moments before. The man turned to Debbie and said “I am on my way to surgery, you look like you know birds would you take care of this” So Debbie brought the little fellow home. Same procedure-same outcome this time however he was interred with full ceremony by my eldest daughter. 

Although you learn nothing from the second kick of a mule, I learnt plenty from the second death of a Kingfisher.

Recently we found out that the baby we are expecting is in all likelihood a little girl, Debbie had been checking up on her when the incident happened. We have been praying for some months now into who she will be and asking God for his name for her. Until recently nothing seemed to really stand out until about a week ago my wife came to me with a very different kind of name. Mystery. My head struggled with the name but something in my spirit seems to resonate with that name. It is in line with a number of the prophesies that we have received already for this child and for the season that we are moving into. Mystery Desmond….Hmmmm. I like it, I think. As I thought about this, I felt God again whisper in my spirit 

“The Kingfisher is dead, and Mystery is about to be born!” 

Those of you who have been following my blog will know that this pregnancy has not been without its challenges, in fact we have faced resistance for years before Debbie fell pregnant. After our Jemima was born we felt that God had given us specific promises concerning another pregnancy and so we soon began to try for our last child. Despite the fact that we had never had a problem before Debbie struggled to fall pregnant. After a while we probably would have given up if we did not strongly feel that the child we were wanting was a promised child, and so persevered believing and although it took four years Debbie finally fell pregnant. We were elated. However that was not to be our last challenge at our second visit to the Gynae we were told that tests showed that there was a possibility of some sort of “abnormality” in the child we are expecting, we went for further tests in Port Elizabeth and were told that the pregnancy was rated higher than high risk! They give us odds of 1 in 13 that there is some sort of problem. There are those who would advise us in these circumstances to terminate the pregnancy but that is not an option for Debbie and I. Driving back home to East London fear threatened to overwhelm me, uncertainty about the road ahead clouded my vision and then I heard the Lord say, “Hold the course Nigel. Hold the course” Peace filled me then and guards my heart even now. After I blogged about this (December 2, 2009)  friends and others sent us words from around the world and a common theme seemed to be that this child would be a “Miracle child” and a Mystery. So, we are expectant, in fact Debbie is VERY expectant! That is how we have come to name her “Mystery” 

Fascinatingly the Bible ties mystery and kings together. Often when you encounter mysteries in the bible Kings feature close by.The first instance of the word mystery in the Bible is found in Daniel 2.18. The context is the baffling dream that puzzled King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel’s time. It is the first time that we see the term in the Bible and if you know the story Daniel goes on to tell the king his own dream as well as to give him the interpretation of the dream. Essentially Nebuchadnezzar saw his kingdom and the kingdoms which would follow until at last the final Kingdom is the Kingdom of God which arrives small, like a stone but which grows until it fills the whole earth. Read Daniel chapter 2 for the whole story. From then on throughout the scripture the themes of mystery, the kingdom of God, the kings of the earth weave their way to the end of the book and of history. As he did in Daniel’s time God delights to hide truths away from kings and reveal them to us, his church. 

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search a matter out. 

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: 

“No eye has seen, 

no ear has heard, 

no mind has conceived 

what God has prepared for those who love him”— 

but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.


The theme of mystery began with God revealing to his prophet the kings revelation concerning the coming of the kingdom of God which is destined to fill the whole earth. The meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is clarified at some point the Kingdom of God will fill all the Kingdoms of man. They will end, but God’s kingdom will never come to an end. This is the great mystery, that over time the God’s kingdom is advancing, the glory is coming, God is pouring out his Spirit on all flesh, and this will continue until all the Kingdoms of the earth have become the Kingdom of our God and his Christ. 

The King Fisher is dead, Mystery is about to be born!” One Kingfisher helped me see that God is changing his church, empowering the whole bride with his anointing and his spirit as in Acts 2, Kingfisher two made me realise he is changing his church so that we can change the world! I believe that we are going into an age of accelerated change in the church and the world, not only is God wanting to revolutionize what church looks like, how we see ourselves and our role in society, but he is going to revolutionize the world with it.  This is the time prophesied by the angel in Revelation 10:7 

There will be no more delay! 7 But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God (The Kingdom prophesied in Daniel) will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” 

The challenge is, can we carry what God is wanting to birth through us? There are those who will tell us that this pregnancy is higher than high risk, that it would be safer to abort even though this is the result of years of waiting, praying, trusting and believing for the promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives. Those who cherish the wisdom of this world and the rulers of this age will tell us that there are too many unknowns, too many things that could go wrong, that it could be frightening and change our lives forever, that it is better to maintain the status quo than to continue where the Spirit seems to be leading. And yet, to carry the promise to full term we will have to learn to embrace risk, to push past our fears by leaning into love, to love what the enemy wants us to fear and learn the love that casts out all fear by trusting ourselves to the goodness and greatness of God. Then we will find the grace to Hold the course. 

I realise now that God was giving me a multi-part message. My only hope is that there are no more parts-I hate seeing Kingfishers die because I am slow to understand!

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