Friday, 25 July 2014

God's sweet spot

Being a Christian is a humbling experience.  At least it should be or there's something not quite right with the journey.  Where to begin...

I'm not up for sharing details, nor do I feel pressured to but I can pretty much guess you have an idea that the last year has been one of the most difficult I have had to endure.  Sure, life has been tough before but there is something unique about this part of the journey that has had me floored and on my knees in ways that I haven't experienced before.  My life has been smashed to pieces, pulled apart and left like pieces of a mosaic lying around me which I have had no idea of how or where to begin to put it back together.  (A vision that was given to me by a beautiful friend 7 years ago!)  Nor have I had the energy or motivation.  Grief is such an all consuming thing and it has been faithful friends who have reminded me that I am way harder on myself than I should be. 

God has me in the palm of his hand, right where he wants me.  Humbled, broken but not alone.  He is the one putting things back together.  He is the one asking me to rest in his 'sweet spot' even though being there means grieving things I have lost.  Even though it means dealing with pain and trusting him alone for my future.  It is indeed a bitter 'sweet' spot to be in.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  Don't get me wrong!  I would love to be at the other end of this crap, I would love to be experiencing pure joy and elation at having come through but there is something in the journey that I don't want to miss.  I don't want to miss his comfort, his walking with me, his overwhelming love, his desire to put my life back together the way he wants it to be.  He is lavishing me with love, grace and compassion and I couldn't be more humbled, grateful or at a loss for words in how to express what he is doing in my life.  I am learning more than I have the time to make note of but he is burning it into my heart and soul.  Funny thing is, it's not just about me.  He is giving me something so beautiful that I know it's not just for me.  When the time is right, He will ask me to share it with others.  He will ask me to open my heart (and most probably my home!) to bring to others what he has given to me.

But for now, he is asking me to rest... and I am learning to do just that.

I am learning to find joy in the little things.  I am learning to take the pressure off and to wait until God's timing has things perfectly in place.  I am learning to trust that if I don't make something happen 'right now' it doesn't mean I am going to miss out.  He's got it covered and will bring it about in his time.  Thank the Lord because I have so far done a great job at rushing and messing up things in my life and yet even that is ok.  He can restore and he will. 

Sitting, waiting, resting and trusting in his timing, his perfect plan and his amazing grace.  There's nowhere else I'd rather be...

J xx

Monday, 7 July 2014

Jesus wept...

I went away on the weekend.  Stayed at a gorgeous little hut in the middle of nowhere, 10k's down a dirt road along the Murrumbidgee river on a cattle station.  Absolute bliss!  What I encountered there was humbling, heartbreaking and inspiring.  While there I met someone who was quite possibly the most broken person I've ever met.  Their life story is incredible.  What they have experienced and endured in this life has them begging for God to take them home and asking me to pray the same.  In the end, I almost joined them in that prayer for their life.  But I couldn't. I just couldn't....... I knew in that moment they had lost sight of the good things in their life and I wanted them to see those things again.  Maybe I had no right to think like that for someone else when they were so tired and in so much pain... but I couldn't give up on them.

I wept with them, tears for their brokenness that connected right into my own.  I prayed for them and with them, begging God through my tears to ease their pain.  My heart broke at the look of pain in their face. Physical, spiritual and emotional pain.  Physical pain that has been with them for 36 of their 56 years and will be with them until they are gone from this earth.  What they call an 'ugliness' inside that has them too scared to stay in the one place for too long and let anyone too close.  Yet all I saw was true beauty in the pain.  I saw someone with so much life left to still live and so much beauty in who they are to share with others.  This is what my faith, and your faith, is all about.  Helping others find this without diminishing what they are going through and have to endure.  It’s not about ‘tough love’, it’s about sacrificial love.

When Jesus wept with Mary and Martha at the death of Lazarus, it wasn't because he saw no end to their grief and loss.   Jesus knew he could and would raise Lazarus from the dead and rejoice with them in their joy!  But before he could do that, he had to enter into their pain and weep with them as they wept.  And therein lies the key for me.  If you want to share my joy, go with me into my pain.  If you want to go with me into my pain, you need to acknowledge and enter into your own.  If you can't do that, then you cannot possibly hope to help others on a level that truly brings opportunity for healing and wholeness and a chance to show real love.  And I don't want shallow.  Such a challenge.....

I know that my own brokenness is not just about me.  I know I am called to walk with the broken. I am called to go to the depths and help them crawl back out on hands and knees if need be.  I am called to share in their joy and to share my own.   And I cannot do that in my own strength.  I have to keep my eyes on Him.

The gratitude that this person showed to me for having been there with them I know helped to bring about some level healing within itself.  Are they still in pain?  Absolutely!  But they are not alone.  Someone else dared to enter into and acknowledge their pain.  It wasn’t easy, it hurts to be with others like that but it wasn’t about me… Their faith and humility is absolutely inspiring.  Their acknowledgement of Gods sovereignty and righteousness in their life is challenging.  Their ability to genuinely repent is confronting and reminds me of some of the great men and women of the bible.

I am genuinely challenged and overwhelmed by their life and attitude towards it and their faith in the midst of such raw pain.  I feel privileged to have met them and honoured to have prayed with them.  God can turn any meeting into a divine appointment.

It has left me knowing how much more I am in need of God in my own life if I am to do what He calls me to do.  I am aware of my own selfish ambition, even when it is clothed in good intentions,   it's still just another form of running away...  I am aware of how much we all walk covered by His grace and mercy and that we will never truly know what it cost Him to save us  until we are called home.

Hope, that is what I have to offer.  Not my hope but hope from God that he sees all, knows all and has got it covered.  Maybe you don't agree with what I'm saying, maybe you don't understand or it doesn't seem to make sense.  It's ok, these are just my rambling thoughts that I wanted to write down and share.  God is moving, and he is moving fast and drawing people to himself.  I am so far from worthy, we all are yet I am willing to be accepted by him in my brokenness and to say 'do your best with me Lord (and thank you for bridging the gap for when I fall short!) 

It's not about presenting a perfect image of myself to the world, it's about being real, honest, loving and humble enough to let God do his work in and through me anyway.  J xx