Originally published Friday, 05 June 2015.
So, I wrote a recent blog post, practically entitled, "The Great Purposeful Faith Hack Attack," only to be faced with its aftermath yet again. My site has been deeply compromised, injured internally and badly beaten. Poor thing.
But God's Word hasn't.
Jesus was badly compromised, injured and beaten, but his words last forever.
His touch, a lifetime.
His promises, forevermore.
His power, ever-flowing.
So, it all doesn't really matter does it? In so many ways, anything can be stripped down to its core, but what always remains is the name of Jesus.
It is by him, for him and through him that everything is, was and is to come.
That's it, my friends - it all comes back to him, doesn't it?
If only I can remember this day by day...
Children stripped of clothes, paint strewn all over furniture. Jesus.
Open and wounded emotions after an argument. Jesus.
A big denial after I outpour my heart. Jesus.
A moment of "Why did I do that?" Jesus.
Unhinged expectations. Jesus.
Worst case scenarios come true. Jesus.
Family scars. Jesus.
Sometimes it takes being beaten down to see Jesus' enduring love -
his endurance that relieves our defiance.
Like a kid being chased, God endures after us, not to mock us, not to yell at us, not to show us what we did wrong, not to call us old labeled names, but to pour out pure and unadulterated love.
He chases us down as loved children because he cares. He sees us running around like chicken's with our heads cut off. He sees our childlike ways, but he still loves us.
So much so, he takes our present condition of childhood and raises us up to a condition called eternally secure.
The more we are acquainted with suffering, the more we acquaint our eyes to see like Jesus.
Suffering tenderizes our heart.
It pulverizes our judgements of others.
It demolishes strongholds of fear.
Now, don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean I have been praying for a miracle, because the alternative is tearing down, all that has been built up.
Sure, there is a time and place to be torn down, but, I have this sneaky feeling that if I can just grab hold of the lesson in the wait, I can steer clear of the lesson in the demolition. You know what I mean?
So, instead, I have been trying to take off the 3D glasses of fear:
The ones that seem to think that contentment revolves around joy, peace and comfort.
The ones that make me think I can charge through barriers God has permitted to stand.
The ones that keep me leashed to ideas that no one will like me.
My only thread line of hope is that I can see God's simple truth and gentle guidance before me.
Gentle guidance. Because opposing God's direction is tiring. Running against the wind, depletes me and injures my soul. It leaves me worn on the side of the yellow brick road that I thought led to happiness.
Lord, I can't help but think, if I can only go with your wind, no matter how face-injuring, skin-drying and emotionally-depleting it may feel, that you will gently guide me right to where I need to be.
Sometimes, there is pain in the moment, but we can trust God's love endures forever. He is much more concerned with His idea of forever, than our idea of a moment.
Crashing sites, lives, jobs and families are all being worked together for good as we trust God. We can trust that.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28