My sometimes flawed perception of reality has led me down a dirt road of fears and questions unable to rest on the sinking feeling I carried. I remember times before when life was filled – not just with uncertainty, but real danger or pain. Times when God seemed absent or blind or deaf. Times when I wanted to run away. He allowed far more than I wanted or could handle, but what eventually came was a more sure knowing of His presence as He lifted me to my feet.
“For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.” (Proverbs 24:16)
What happens when promises are given, but never seen? What then? Do we rise? Promises made, but broken by a thousand harsh words. What then? Desiring the way, but lured off the path by the power hungry’s persuasion or the religious who “have God’s voice on hold”. What then, when the voice followed is one of an impressionist, an impersonator, and you fall yet again? Jesus’ name and a fallen form of glory are lifted high, but it requires all and you lose your home, your children, all that surrounds you, lost. What then?
There were moments and hours where you wondered if Jesus was there. And you wait to know. Looking back you can see Him as you were face down on the kitchen floor crying out, but not then for the eye was clouded by fear. Time and grace clear the vision and you see and the fear is healed, but it took seeing it in the rear view mirror. And the next time you trust the grace more fully knowing it is stronger than the mountain you cross, no matter the weight of the burden, no matter the doubts or fear that try to rise to keep you down.
He offers grace principles that hold my life as surely as gravity holds my feet to earth. And even in the breaking, if my heart is after His, if my spirit has His name on it, He helps me through and my life is transformed into a testimony of words, a way to give Him glory. All because of bread and wine, nails and wood, and I am given all I need. And I learn this again and again, for I may have it firm in my fist today and drop it tomorrow to grasp the next problem!
If I can stop my head from wondering in fear that there won’t be enough, and turn it to a wonder of trust in His hands and past stories of faith, then in receiving all He offers in my “now”, can I take and eat, be nourished, and let go?
Again I’ve seen the scene played out, where I feel small and question whether I have anything to offer and He asks for the most painful parts, the pits He walked with me in, He asks for me to give even those to Him as an offering.
I want to say “No! I’ve earned this. It’s mine!” And He extends His hand and I see the relief, the peace I’ll receive in His palm, ready. I hand to Him what He’s asked for, weeping, and His peace moves in, a divine exchange! He takes my pain and still days later, I feel the exchange that was made, and He is lifting layers of wounds and massaging oil into wounds that were deeper than I thought. I am left leaning into Him, receiving breath and strength and feeling so well cared for. The wounds I’d tried to bandage myself, He has peeled back and gently kissed and healed completely. And I am relieved of the weight of the burden, the pain, for “by His wounds I am healed.”
The relief, the love I feel has me searching for more to give Him! What else can I find to place in His hand and receive peace in the exchange? What else can become a reality of thanks? Such relief in the giving, such freedom as it leaves my hand and falls gently into His – I am left only with the blessing, with the amazement of that Romans 8:28 principle~
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. (AMP)
All according to His design and purpose based on His enormous love for me, that is the reality of this thanks I’m learning to live. I will need this grace exchange again for I will forget in an instant His true size and that His love never fails, and He will be there. And the more I practice thanks, the more I abide and rest.
Thank you for being a good Father.
(c) September 2011, Robin Lawrimore