It is so refreshing to hear someone put life's responsibility in God's hands. Some live this way, in a sense of wonder covered by the miraculous care of God's grace. Every day is a new adventure and life is about the journey in the minds of people who live by a vibrant and real faith. I write this because there is a couple of people that I consider close to my heart and they exemplify this mindset with ease.
Today was the first day my In-laws, Carrie and Tom, spent in Colorado. We had a great time running errands together. Carrie spoke words of truth on Godly dependence that rolled off her tongue like the instructions for making a PB and J sandwich. Tom shared simple prayers with tangible answers that solidified foundations of faith shaken by years of a heart deferred. How small I feel; how good it feels! Hearing the perspective on life from people who truly enjoy every day is a real gift for any listener, regardless of perspective. I hope, deep within my heart, that I can hold the same perspective. This appetite for spiritual substance is a conquering force that I have missed for many years.
Years of struggle seasoned with an absence of God's presence that was almost tangible; it was like a numb Hell. Feeling like someone isn't there anymore is a complicated feeling to illustrate. Love can grow into complacency but I speak of my hollow, shallow love. How is a selfish love refined? By an unconditional force stepping aside and waiting for the selfish, self-righteous, prideful fool to die from exhaustion. Can you put loneliness, frustration, apathy, despair, and regret into a blender? What kind of cocktail is the result of this bitter concoction? What kind of person goes bottoms up with a drink akin the last request of a condemned man? I do, did, and died drinking that cup. Those feelings vanished with death convulsions yielding a peace and surrender that could only come by trekking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
What does a traveler find as he spreads the last branches stained with bitterness and guile at the exit of a Godless death march? He sees the expectant eyes of dear people who have traveled that path before, waiting for him on the other side. He sees the scars from a hard road and under their welcoming smile he can still see the pains of their journey. With arms spread wide those seasoned travelers reach out to the returning prodigal without judgment; just love. The accompanying embrace breaks open flood gates from heaven and something happens.
Jesus appears. Tears flow… Regrets begin to float on those tears to a river of forgiveness. More tears now… Brokenness, failure, fear all floating away. Who knew such small drops could wash away such devastating sins? Those embracing arms belong to someone that loves me with a selfless love, an eternal love. Those eyes were clouded with blood as he bore my guilt and shame. Those eyes spoke "It's okay, I still love you." Love waited me out and won.
Where do I go from here?
To walk with a limp. A reminder that I can’t do it on my own. The cross proves He will handle my needs. Even if it means to Hell and back. Wow, rest in that truth!
Tonight, as I write this, I don't know what tomorrow will bring. There are things written on my calendar; we'll see how that works out. The two people sleeping downstairs help me see Christ more clearly; they ask for daily bread. They live life and enjoy the journey. I want that too.
I want life to be an adventure without regret. Over the past months I have learned things that have attached themselves to my soul forever. I have looked failure in the face and seen purpose waiting in the backdrop. I'm done begging for a cache of bread. Instead, I will wait for He who loves me and start trusting Him again for the first time. He said he would take care of us. And if I fail believing that, He also says:
"It's okay, I still love you."