I just wanted to stop by and share with you a beautiful truth I've known forever but only very recently started to experience as a reality in my life. It's yet another one where I just have to shake my head and say to myself, "Really? How could this have eluded you for so long?!" It all started last summer when I met Louise. (Actually, it all started with Jesus, but most of you know that part of the story already...) From the moment I met her, and even more so as I came to know her better, I knew that she got it. She was (and is) so absolutely sure of God's love, so completely satisfied and fulfilled and confident in Him, that His love just poured out of her, all. the. time. And not in some annoying, forced, false, duty-driven bubbling over for Jesus, but a genuine, authentic, almost-inadvertent outpouring of love and joy and peace and grace and truth and hope - from her Source. You just love to be around her, because she makes you feel like the most important, valuable person on the planet! Every single time I'd have any contact at all with her, I'd come away with two things: 1) the love and hope and validation and encouragement that I needed to go on and 2) a question - where does that come from? The way she knows Jesus has got to be different from the way I know Jesus...
I didn't realize I was asking that question until after I found the answer :) The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life (and that's saying something, when I look back over my recent history). Circumstances have compelled me to question everything - except God. Amazing how trials will bring you to your knees, isn't it? Actually, to be perfectly honest, I did question and doubt and wonder where God was in this mess - but He showed me. He showed up. (I usually hate that phrase, but no other words can describe it better.) In ways that I couldn't possibly deny. The past few days especially, I've had this strange, peaceful, cozy sensation, the way I might feel wrapped up in a blanket in front of a fire with rain pounding on the window - welcome, for sure, but very new and unfamiliar and unexpected, given the general upheaval that is currently my life. It wasn't until a couple of days ago that I identified what was going on, when I heard again a song on the radio that had always annoyed me a bit because she (Jamie Grace, maybe?) sounded so smug,
"Wake up and smile, 'cause it's been awhile;
it's been like a whole day since I stopped
so You could hold me;
Lord, You are the refuge
that I can't wait to get to..."
That's what it is, this strange new sensation! It's God, holding me! Being my refuge, my protector, my strong tower! I would never allow Him to do that before. Maybe I didn't believe I was worth it, maybe I wanted to maintain control, maybe I wanted to be strong, maybe I've always thought God was just a little bit angry with me...but that's why the song always annoyed me, because I didn't know God like that! (It's funny, because that song always reminded me of Louise (minus the smugness). ) And something deep within me longed to know that comfort and security. But now! I don't know exactly how it happened, but now I finally know that "God is for me, not against me" (in the words of another great song that always kind of annoyed me...hmmm...)
Weakness can be a beautiful thing.
"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
(2 Corinthians 12:9)