All tagged gospel

O Lord our God, let your sweet beauty rest upon us
    and give us favor.
    Come work with us, and then our works will endure,
    and give us success in all we do.

Psalm 90:17, TPT

There’s a point at which this starts to feel crazy. For all of these months I’ve been sitting and I’ve been writing. I’ve been praying and I’ve been crying. I’ve been talking to people and to God and I’ve been wondering what everything means. The embers have been stirred inside of me and the gifts that have been there all along, gifts being cultivated and watered by the Spirit in the secret place, are being uncovered…uncovered even to me, and I am left breathless in wonder, somehow saying, “God, I had no idea this was in there,” even though He and I have been working on it all this time.

So He brought me here and He set me down and He opened my time to where I started choking on too much of it. You know, when you have been running for years and you suddenly stop in the space of time, you start to feel the beating of your heart, and you start to assess what is going on inside.

And that stopping and feeling the beating of my heart…that was the grace of God even though, to be honest, it nearly destroyed me. Out on the battlefields I had been fighting for so long, thought I was fighting for good, for my family, to minister well, to be an example, to provide, and to love and serve people. But here with my beating heart and my battle scars, I realized so much of the fight was actually a fight for my life, a fight against the very enemy of my soul and his schemes which had been cutting me down and trying to take me out for a good long time. And I didn’t even know it until God brought me here to stop, to breathe, and to look at my heart.

Figuring that out all of the sudden can be pretty brutal, but oh, grace of God, it can also be the most astonishingly beautiful thing in the whole wide world and in all of life, because it’s there…there in the realization of the ache, in the depth of wounds, in the opening and cleaning of the scarred-over-places that Jesus becomes so real, so beautiful, so perfect, and so TRUE.

Here I am.

Face to face with my own brokenness.

In desperation I cry out, oh God…deliver me, as I see the depth of my sin, realize the immensity of my weakness. Oh God…deliver me.

But how? How does He deliver? What will He do to free me from myself?

Let Me show you the dream on My heart, He whispers.

And He takes me to that place.

That place of most dreaded sadness. There. Golgotha. Mary’s robes whipping in the wind as tears stream down her face. Man unrecognizable hanging on a tree. Blood-soaked ground and moans of anguish.

This is My dream, He says again with wetness on his cheeks and a smile tugging the corners of his mouth.

Oh God. God. What could you mean? How is this Your dream?

Here, give Me your sin. Give Me your brokenness, He says.

I hand it over and wonder what on earth my sin has to do with His dream. He takes it in His hands and walks over to this place of greatest grief…the cross of Christ. He lays my sins there at the cross and beckons for me.

Let Us No More Fear Our Crosses

“Before crosses used to frighten me – I used to get goose bumps at the thought of suffering – but now I embrace suffering even before it actually comes, and like this Jesus and I live in love.”

Mother Teresa

 

I have a picture of Jesus hanging on my wall.

Black and white except the blood, jarring in its redness, the white of the paper punctuated by the very wounds of Christ’s suffering.

“Thank You, Jesus,” I whisper as I look at the painting, “Thank You for what You’ve done for me. And oh, make me more like You, and may I accomplish all that You’ve called me to do. For You deserve it, You sacrificed your life for it.”

Do you pray like this?

I think that you do.