This year has been incredible.
After returning from India in December, I went through a season of awareness of earth's brokenness. In the mornings I had to grab onto hope with both hands and in the evenings I would not sleep until my soul found rest and escape from the weight of the day. He was enough. Understatement.
Joy was present, but it was hindered. I was more focused on what there is to lose, instead of what there is to gain. I was distracted by the desires of my flesh and could not fully delight myself in the Lord. I remembered His whispers to me in the night:
"My child, your delight will be as full as your surrender."
More recently, when I lost the one thing that I begged Him not to take, I began to experience a freedom that I would not trade anything for. Job said, "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away."
Lately I've been viewing it the other way around: He takes away so that He can give. The Lord gave Job double what he had before it was taken away. And now He gives beauty for ashes; Love's unselfish trade-off.
(At this point, I would love to interject a poorly-made exegesis on Psalm 44. The beginning explains how He gave His people abundant victory and strength. Verse eight takes a turn and goes into an explanation of how He made them "a reproach" to their neighbors, "the scorn and derision" of those around them. Swooping in with verse 17, the writer proclaims, "All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten You or been false to Your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back...but You crushed us..." The Psalm ends with a desperate request: "Rise up and help us; save us because of Your unfailing love." He did what was pleasing to Himself. The Lord is gracious and just; strong and beautiful; dangerous and irresistible. More on that...now?)
When some friends of mine were sifting through their relationship, the only thing that would come out of my mouth (and fingertips) toward them had to do with their identity in Christ. I was not aiming to sound like my pastor and friends who "got it." It just...happened.
But as the days progressed, the Spirit began a new work in me: I began to understand more than ever before the implications of the power of sin and my identity in Christ. Or better yet -- Christ's identity in me!
If Christ is in me, and if His Word is true, and if my flesh is the only thing that is left to be redeemed -- then my lot is joy, rest, and awe. Christ is in me. All of Him. All the time. He fulfilled the law. He fulfilled me! Now all there is to do is let the cat out of the bag -- let the Jesus out of the me. He knows how. He gives strength for rest. He prompts me to ask for strength to rest so He can work through me. He does things before I even ask. He is Sovereign and in control. And me? I get to follow Him around.
And He has promised an unimaginable future for His people. This life is easy to "do," but it can be difficult to endure. Creation is longing in eager expectation for our adoption as sons. Just a few more weary days and then -- we'll fly away. His Word illuminates the path of delight. Daily, hourly we choose to delight in the Spirit or in the flesh. One will endure; the other will pass away. Treasures stored up in heaven will never spoil or fade.
Conclusion? Never! My thoughts are scattered and I do not know how to formulate them properly,but I cannot help but tell about these things. Jesus is alive and surrender is delight.
Restored and in awe,
**The purpose of this post is two-fold: To release thoughts that have been building up and to remind the Church of her first Love. It is not to display my "wisdom" (foolishness), but rather, this:
"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3
"The new self...is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator." Colossians 3:10