Having never met him, I can still see him so clearly. He is wearing a dark suit, arms folded. One hand clinched together under his chin. His smile is sincere but not overwhelming, and above his head are words like “Purpose”, “Vision”, “Kingdom” and “Prayer”.
Bookcovers. That is how I learned of Myles Munroe. As a child, my four siblings and I were so accustomed to seeing books authored by Myles Munroe all around our house. Dr. Munroe’s books would be laying on the dashboard in my father’s car, covering his side of the dresser, nestled in his work bag, beside his cup of coffee, tucked in his brief case on Sundays, placed on top of the hamper in my parent’s bathroom, bundled on the dining room table, or sometimes wedged between the cushions of the couch.
We, along with people all over the world, grew up on the teachings of Myles Munroe. Whether he was expounding upon purpose, destiny, globalism, colonization, government, relationships or the Kingdom of God, after listening to his messages or reading his books, you felt aware of yourself and you felt better about yourself. His words could convict and console, explain and encourage, reveal and rebuke.
Funny, the night that I learned of Dr. Munroe’s passing, Daddy had placed his copy of Rediscovering Faith: Understanding the Nature of Kingdom Living on my sister’s coffee table. What was even more ironic was my sister had just taken Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman off of her bookshelf so she could re-read it. There we sat, in the living room. Me, my baby brother, my baby sister, and my parents playing with my 4-month old son, and my 5-month old niece when I broke our jovial mood by yelling, “No!” I looked up from my phone and everyone looked at me. “Dr. Myles Munroe is dead. He was just killed in a plane crash.”
Our room grew silent, but in my heart I continued to yell, “no” and in my mind, the questions began. How could Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife Ruth, and several members of their leadership team be dead? Where was God in this tragedy? How could he allow so many important men and women to die so early and suddenly in their careers? Could this be an attack of the enemy? Could this really be God’s plan? What about his son? His daughter? What about his church? Surely, it wasn’t his time. Who can teach the Kingdom like Myles Munroe? There must be a mistake. It couldn’t be their time. Could it?
It was among my internal questions that I heard so clearly, parts of a scripture: “unless… it dies… it abides alone.” In its entirety, John 12:24 states: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
At first, I did not see the connection between John 12:24 and Myles Munroe especially because his life had been so fruitful. I kept trying to shake it out of my head, but there it remained repetitively, repeating parts of itself: “It abideth alone…unless the seed dies.”
Unless the seed dies. A seed unless it dies is just a seed. However, a seed that is planted in the ground, grows and brings forth much fruit and even more seeds.
In flipping through my copy of The Burden of Freedom, I ran across the following statement. Dr. Munroe wrote, “I expect to see millions of mature believers who are not afraid of a good fight before I die. I’m talking about people who will take on the biggest challenges, quite aware of what it takes to win. I long to see a generation who will embrace the spirit of responsibility and industry. A generation who can handle failure and success effectively (p. 259).”
There it was in plain sight. Dr. Munroe expected “to see millions..” He “longed to see a generation…” He desired to see more fruit. The ultimate result of his life was not the production of books and audio messages. The ultimate result of his life was to produce fruit and the only way to produce fruit is for a seed to die and be buried in the ground.
The books, the messages, were merely seeds–seeds buried in people just like me and my family who lived in a small, rural town in North Carolina. A place completely opposite of the Bahamas, yet a place where seeds had been deposited.
I imagine Dr. Munroe was like a dandelion plant. The seeds of a dandelion plant travel with the help of the wind. Guided also by the dandelion seed’s natural wing design these tiny, fragile units can flow through storms, across valleys and even across mountain tops. Throughout his travels, tiny, feather-like seeds, were blown off of him and deposited all over the world in the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, India, Europe, North and South America. Eventually, there were no more seeds left for the wind to carry. The plane crash which initially looked like his greatest tragedy, became his greatest triumph. Through his death, he will bring forth much fruit.
I believe the world is only beginning to feel the true effects of Dr. Myles Munroe’s life. He was a carrier of the wisdom of God, and his death has only ignited millions of other carriers to “…take on the biggest challenges, quite aware of what it takes to win.”
Thank you for your commitment to die empty. Thank you for pouring yourself out. Thank you, Dr. Myles Munroe.