The beginning to this story is here…
I look up, rain pouring in my face, and I cannot see well.
It’s dark and all I can see is Him. But I don’t know what He’s trying to say.
So many voices, and at times like this, I just want to draw my family close, my little ones under my wing, Husband over me, covering, and I want to just shut out the world because the cold winds, they blow right through, and how to make it stop?
Can I buy a window to keep that kind of force-gale wind out? But I know God said to us in His word, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
So I know that I’m not meant to stay this way, cocooned up, wrapped warm, no matter how much I think I need the comfort, for His children are hurting.
He has only allowed me to draw close like this, because He is about to branch me out, open, like bare oak tree branches, hands naked, reaching up, raised high in the sky in worship.
And when I can’t make sense of all the hurt, pain, and rejection, and when I don’t understand why I am not accepted in some circles, why things feel awkward and hard with those loved ones when I want things to be fluid and loving, and my world feels off-kilter, like it’s great big orb has fallen clumsily off it’s axis and everything is sliding…then what does my faith rest upon?
Because really, when I am slammed with reality, the truth is, it isn’t about me, and my hurt, and my pain, or even needing to keep my world on it’s axis, yes, even, for the sake of my family.
When we find things like this blog on the interwebs, and we sit, lump in throat, and tears in eyes, and we realize that this world does not contain just us, as hard as we try to wrap cocoon ourselves in our comfortable home, candles, bible reading, and happy stories–we are somehow pulled out of our cocoon, out of skin, and we are asked to die on that cross with our Savior.
And we keep coming back to this place, which forces us to ask WHAT does this all mean? This journey, what does it mean? Here, where we are now–why are we here yet again, not in a church?
When we would love to indulge in just sitting in the pew, and be unseen, hardly noticed by anyone, God uproots us yet again, and has used this illness to do it. WHY do we have no desire to continue going to church to play the game–the game of social groups and accepted statuses?
Why do we shy away from church and steely sharp steeples, but want to run into the arms of God and homeless people and little children–orphans who need our help–orphans who just need someone to hold them, them sitting all alone, simply because there arent enough hands?
And yet, why havent we done something? Why are we still here? Is this called incubation? If that is what this is, it is pretty miserable.
But im learning to hate it less and less, to be angry with God less and less, and to give thanks for my circumstances more and more. Truly, this is a miracle straight from the throne room of Heaven. This is not something I can do on my own.
So I pick up the cross, bent low, and I carry it like He did, bent and broken for me, and I find my faith resting on that rugged, splintery cross. And where my faith has seemed more like doubt, and where it has been splintery and where winter has blown straight cold through, it rests on that heavy beamed cross–because that saving tree, it can take it all. And my redemptive God, He can make all whole. How I love Him! How He is my only rock, my only fortress, my only Hope, my only true joy!
When my faith is resting upon that cross, that sure rock, that strong foundation, I really can count it–all the suffering–every last hard blast of it–and call it joy.
And maybe joy looks like my bare oak arms branched out, roots deep in the ground, surging straight to the well of God and the gospel of grace and arms stretching to touch a little child in need of Him? Maybe this is how I worship? Maybe this is my only right response to the suffering on that sacred tree?
Maybe this is what my faith really looks like when it’s resting there.
I think there is definitely more to this that I would like to explore. I hope to write more tomorrow at Ann’s on Walk With Him Wednesday, so please come back.
Join me, if you like, at Ann’s for last week’s post on faith–im joining late!
And please join me as I follow the Compassion bloggers in Equador this week!