Been struggling for the past few months. Trying to understand. Trying to find out. Trying to know. For a few years more than a few months. But intensely for the past few months.
I’m boxed into a corner right now. All things logical don’t seem to be working. So then I sway to the opposite extreme of “crazy” faith and land flat on my humiliated face. Anger. Frustration. Have you forgotten me God?
Have I messed everything up? I have. I don’t know about those people with no regrets. If this isn’t a dress rehearsal, I messed everything up a long, long time ago. Beyond my repair.
I think He is healing me. More than He has me on some behavior modification program. We are so used to people caring more about us falling in line than understanding why we are “out of line” in the first place.
What if God wants to reach that place inside us where we were wounded? Even if we don’t want to go there. I heard about a story of a little boy who lost his voice when he set a fire that burned his sisters. He said his sisters are ok today so he didn’t want to talk about it because he felt sad every time he looked at their scars.
How many of us are walking wounded in that way? Either the ones scarred or the ones having done the scarring? Saying, “I survived. I don’t want to think about it or else I get sad.” Or saying, “They survived. I don’t want to think about it or else I get sad.”
What if God wants to bring healing to that place? He is the Great Physician.
I’m starting to see Him as The Father that loves me unconditionally. At my worst. Without any requirements for behavior modification. I think He actively fights my assumptions otherwise; when I lapse into thinking it all depends on me.
Can you call your father? Can you run home to your father right now? Is your father there for you? Was your father ever there for you? What if you mess everything up? Will your father love you just the same? Will your father say, “Let’s fix it together. Let’s start over. But first, a hug.”? Can you go to your father when you are tired. When you’ve wasted everything, like the prodigal? Can you go to your father and experience the same reception given by the prodigal’s father? A big feast with the finest clothes and the choice meat? What if you wasted not only your own life, but also the resources of your father? Would your father still run to you when he sees you on the horizon? Would your father still throw open his arms and embrace you and celebrate your return?
That is our Father. And I think His wrath is against any other idea we have of Him. I think His jealousy is against any other “god” we create in our minds. Or others help create for us.
I think His love for me keeps me in this corner. I can attempt to retreat into intellectualism – which leaves me unable to get out of bed. Or I can retreat into fantastical thinking – i.e. witchcraft. Or I can get to the point where I surrender to the truth of my inability to keep everything together.
The simple fact is I don’t know. I experience, but I don’t know. This has been said before: “now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
I think He’s been waiting for me to finally say, “I don’t know and I don’t need to know.”
If you don’t trust someone, knowledge is everything. But what would it be like to live as a child with the most loving and reliable parent? Again I’ve heard this before: “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
I think of the disciples in the boat during the storm. Waking Jesus up in a panic. That’s me. Jesus says to them like He says to me, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
I keep sensing Holy Spirit saying. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
In the old days, God told them to make monuments. To remind them of what He had done for them. I feel like Holy Spirit is reminding me the past few days of all the times God has come through for me when I exhausted my strength. Not to torture me. But to get me to the end of myself.
I am so stubborn in the sense of flying my Never Give Up banner. That was the tune of the old delusion: do more, be more, don’t stop, never quit. What if the anthem of the correct new-to-me way is: REST!
I love Hebrews four. It is a fantastic call: those unwilling to rest do not profit from the gospel. The works were finished BY GOD from the foundation of the world!!! It is the wrath of His passionate love that seeks to put an end to our stubborn striving.
“For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest… come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
That is the kind of faith that can glorify God alone. That can sing His praises alone.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Could it be that easy, Jesus? Some of us don’t know that kind of love from our human counterparts.
“It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.”
Today I give up. Today I surrender. Today I tell God, “I don’t know.” I don’t know what is. I don’t know what should be. I don’t know the future. But I have experienced enough to believe He is and for me. I’m finally to the place where I’d like to know more, but I don’t think I need to know more.
Me, the person who graduated with a 4.0. Who takes great personal pride in being able to find out all the right answers. Has to be OK with resting and not knowing. Is beginning to relax and remember what God has already done.
I picture a child climbing up on their father’s lap and having The Father say, “It’s ok. I got it. I’ll fix it. You don’t have to worry.”
A friend in the faith informed me today that after eight and a half long hard years, she has been approved for her doctorate!!! I mentioned that her dad who passed away from cancer is probably in heaven jumping for joy at this accomplishment! She sent the following photo and said, “I never got enough of these hugs! Completely embraced!!!!!!”
In light of all that I’ve been going through, the photo of her dad, with both arms wrapped around her, perfectly captured the feeling I think God has been trying to communicate to me, to all of us: I AM completely embracing you!
Sometimes we mean well when we tell people: hold onto Jesus. But what if He is holding onto us? We tell people to run to Jesus. But what if He is The One keeping pace with us and waiting for us to finish fighting Him and rest in His complete embrace?
In the words of those who have come before me: “God does not do abandonment”. Never has. Never will. Not on The Cross with Jesus. And not with us. Psalm 23 follows Psalm 22.
Living loved. New life. Say yes.