Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fall Apart

Would you follow your friend over a cliff?  Obviously not, but God is different.  Because His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts beyond ours, He sometimes leads us to follow Him right over the e

Like a mountain stream, our lives meander through the ordinary or rush through the busy, always moving towards the lowland where it is safe.  But God would take us beyond safe, even free falling out of control.  Life pushes hard and every once in awhile I find myself plunging over the precipice,


Maybe you know it too, this feeling of arms flailing and legs floundering, heart caught in your throat, the point of no return.   But I'm learning that this is a good place to be, fragmented and undone.

When I walked into my church and saw the decorations for VBS, I knew, without doubt, what the message held for me.  That was two weeks ago.  The decor has since come down, but God's work in my life  remains.  In fact, my heart is so full I can scarcely take it all in, let alone try to communicate it.  Yet, I'm compelled to try.    

Like water that rushes down from the snow packed peaks, my life is on a journey.  Most often I would like it to be predictable, careful, and familiar.  But every now and then God brings me to the falls.  This is not only life's circumstances that I cannot control, but also choosing to risk the difficult, doing the hard thing, in order to promote personal growth. 

We each live and move in areas where we feel safe.  But what would happen if we actively chose to venture out beyond those boundaries?  What if God directed our steps in a direction we've never been before?  Would we follow?  It causes our knees to shake and our lips to tremble.  Our hearts grip with fear as we frantically reach for anything stable.  But God removes all handholds and there is no where to go but down, sinking deep into risk and great humility. 

Is God mean to send us catapulting over the falls?  Never!  Rather, it is His deep passion for our growth that motivates Him.  He desires only good for our lives and does not want us to remain immature as infants.  It is His graciousness that takes us to a greater sphere of influence, bringing us to new ground.  Most of all, He wants to reveal Himself to us.   "Show us Your glory!" we cry out.  This is one way He displays His majesty.  Will we accept it? 

Time seems to hold still as droplets hang in the air.  The water  f a l l s   a p a r t  , separating into tiny particles.  At the bottom are boulders ready to pierce the torrent and the resulting collision is deafening.  Like that noise, so our trials can seem overwhelming and we hear nothing else.  Yet, this constant pounding produces deep pools at the base of the falls.  It is from these depths of grace, that the river rushes on to new territory, for God "opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves, then, to God."  (James 4:6-7)  

So why is it, that the common stream does not catch our eye like the falls?  Why is it that the waterfall receives so much attention?  The creek is nothing, not given a second thought . . . until it starts to fall.  Then it becomes glorious.

Likewise, in our weakness, in our  f  a  l  l  i  n  g     a  p  a  r  t ,  the glory of God is revealed.   For this reason, "I consider it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds, because I know that the testing of my faith develops perseverance."  (James 1:3) 

Note the arms of exuberant triumph on the bridge
Faith is tested in the flailing that occurs over the edge.  It is there that trust is real and I can truly lean on my Savior's everlasting arms.  He remains faithful, for at the base of the falls, in the midst of all that churning and spray, the waters come back together and continue on their trek.

God will never forsake His own.   He might bring us through severe discipline, cause us to reap consequences for our sin, or simply want to build our character, but through all of this, He will not let us go.  These trials are not brought into my life to push me away from God, but rather to draw me ever closer, and so I accept what God brings.  He seeks my good and His honor.   

Journey off the map?  For sure!  I want to go places I've never been before so I might become more acutely aware of God's presence and know the strength of His right hand.   Most of all, I want to see His glory!  Though the way is unknown to me, it is certainly known to Him.  I can trust Him.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.  

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
support me in the whelming flood,
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay.