Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Soul Vulnerable



It's been awhile since I've been motivated to write anything.  Life is crazy, and not always the good kind.  I barely have time to respond to text messages or emails from dear friends, let alone sit down and pour my heart out on this neglected blog.

But...

I am laying here, sick in bed and thinking over everything that has transpired with a deep introspection that is bordering dangerous, and I realize that I need to mush some of these thoughts onto cyber paper.

Sometimes things hurt.  Sometimes we don't even know why.  Like that mysterious splotch of purple and blue that suddenly appears and makes you feel like you were in a battle, but you don't even know where it came from.  Or the red that pours from a wound which magically made its presence known with no recollection of the trauma.

Sometimes scars hurt.  Sometimes you run your fingers over the disfigured parts of your skin... or your soul, and even though pain is physically absent, the haunting memories flood you with pain.  And in those moments, you know you are alive, and you remember-

Grace.

The grace that allowed you to be affected and impacted, but not destroyed.  The grace that allowed you to be submerged in suffering, but not drowned.  The grace that allowed wounds to penetrate your soul, but not kill it.  The grace that flows from the veins of Jesus and pours out of the heavens onto and into His children.

And then I feel it...

I feel the warmth of the Holy Spirit ignite in my spirit and I feel at one with my Creator.  I feel my heart fuse to His heart and every scar is a memory of what has been done for me.

Tragedy forced me to flee a movement that was denying grace and love.  God ripping my heart from something I was so deep in and saving me from what I didn't even know was happening... a lifestyle that promised something more than the pure Gospel and yet, was crumbling underneath itself.  Whole lives established on sand, instead of the Rock.  And before the pillars of false truth could cave in on me, the hand of the Almighty tears me away, and scars are left... but so is life.  Life in the pure truth.  Life in the love of Jesus. 

Words from the living Word soothe burns in the heart flesh-

"For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though He causes grief, He will have compassion according to the abundance of His steadfast love; for He does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.  To crush underfoot all the prisoners of the earth, to deny a man justice in the presence of the Most High, to subvert a man in his lawsuit, the Lord does not approve.  Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?  Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?"  -Lamentations 3:34-39

I see lives scattered through the course of this life and we lose focus.  Our eyes are upon our gain here, and not our gain there.  Our gain with the angels and the saints.  Our gain with our Savior and our Father.  A gain which will never be equaled.

We.are.His. 

and

He.is.ours. 

So why do we hunt for whatever will please us?  Why do we forget that there is a world dying, while we seek what will make our living better?  Why are we seeking to exalt our lives, instead of laying them down?  Life is fleeting, and I am guilty.  I am guilt ridden with losing myself in my own world; of recoiling within myself when comfort isn't my friend.  I consume my time with thoughts of how things can be better for me, instead of what I can do to help others see life is better with Jesus.

I want light to consume me.  I want it to penetrate the dark corners of my soul and illuminate the dark shadows that eat those void of redemption.  I want others to see that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (Romans 5:3-5) and hope... hope.  Those glorious four letters which express the Christian's entire sense of being and dwelling in the Vine.

This. this hope. It does not put us to shame.  

It gives us joy.  It gives us love.  This is what it means.  It means that "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom..."  What kingdom?  The kingdom "of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14)

We.  We as children of God, we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins.  My heart is exploding, because I don't deserve this.  This love.  Why?  Why can't I forget it all?  Why can't I forget those pains and this pain?  Why does it distract me and inflict blurry eyes which can't see Heavenward?

God gave us so much beauty! Why do I only see the ugly?  Why can't I get past the ugly and see how it can be the key ingredient to seeing beautiful?  I think about the woman who will go to more of her children's funerals than weddings, and shattered is my heart.  The grief.  And a grief that can't be comforted because Jesus is not known.  Searing loss.  Oh God, how?

My heart feels pain, and not just my own, but others'.  I can't describe how easily I am affected by others suffering.  It's like their ghost is my ghost, and tender doesn't begin to touch the delicate state of this heart, when grief floods and mercy feels far away.  Sometimes it feels like a disease, because it hurts to feel this much.  To go from extreme happiness to extreme sorrow is something not easily understood and dark moods rule my life more than they ever should.

But Jesus weeping in the garden, knows this.  Jesus, beside the Almighty, is whispering in His ear "I know what that feels like, Father have mercy."  And that is more comfort than I could ever ask for in a lifetime.  To know that He knows, to know that He cares and that what is required of me, is that I stop trying to do it myself and I trust Him.  I stop trying to rescue, and show others how to be rescued.  God loves to be our deliverer, but in order to be delivered, we need to be in trouble.  

And that makes it all worth while.  I have to stop worrying.  Worrying about what people think, or say... it.does.not.matter.  What matters is that I belong- I belong to Jesus.  Acceptance.  Love.  Admiration.  Those are all things we crave, and me more than I ever should.  But He is patient to work this out of the stubbornness it is grown into and use it to manifest His glory.

And that brings overwhelming peace.  




He is so good.  He is so faithful and He loves with a love that causes mountains to tremble.  His voice is everywhere.  It is in the roar of the sea and the whisper of the moon.  It is in the scream of pain and the laughter of abundance.

We belong to Him and He is real.  We just need to live in a way that tells others this singular truth.  It's not about us.  It's about Him and His love in redeeming us.