So, I’m just gonna come right out and say it. These last few days have been hard. Like, wanna cry buckets of tears hard. Fearfully mad, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed and tired tears. Not really for any one reason, but for many that just feel tear worthy. It’s one of those points in a story you don’t want to face, but have to. Like when Bamby’s Mama dies or when Cinderella’s step-mother lies. Like when Lassie loses his owner or Baby gets put in a corner. (Yeah, I went there.)
But, it’s not new to my story. Old, in fact. Tired and worn and over played. And, you likely don’t need to hear it, though you may, so I’ll tell it anyway. Because, we need to be real and warned. There is a battle waging on all around. A storm. A bit within us, and a lot around us. So, I know I’m not all alone with this plot twist. Mine just may look a bit different.
The good news is… it’s the exact part that wells up the need to search out the better. Or, the best. Because without the bad, we won’t recognize the good. Or, appreciate it. And, it just may be the thing that draws us to really seek out The One that’s written this whole thing out.
But, the bad news is… sometimes I battle to believe this exact part that He’s writing is any good. Or, that it’s for my good, much less, for His Glory. Because my head can get stuck on replay. Replaying a sad, fearful scene. Even replaying the scenes that have not played out, but I fear may. And, it’s a truly nasty plot twist. In my mind, anyway. And, it’s got me living not for the day, but for the entire fearful future. All spun up and not resting… let alone celebrating or excited for any adventure. Nope. I’m listening to the threats and lies that say everything is NOT going to be okay instead of to the truth that says HE will be with me come what may.
But, Our Storyteller… see, He HAS opened the way. And, He is leading the way. Though, His leading is not the voice I hear that causes doubt, confusion, and fear. Nor one that demands instant gratification and immediate action.
No. Not even close.
HIS is the voice that whispers gently in the waiting, in the calm and the peaceful places. THE Word that speaks life into even the darkest spaces.
And, so – today – I’m trying to face my story brave… to live in the new and the now. But, I strain to see past the broken. Yes, even after all the talk of adventure and celebrating (see, Connecting One Free Thing to Another). And, for me, that just seems to be the way some days. Struggling to push back at the dark and walk on toward the light. Toward The One that lights up my world… making my path bright. Some days, pressing on towards the goal… the prize… let alone, winning the race, just seems out of reach and can throw me off pace.
But, our story isn’t about winning any old race, is it? Nope, it’s about winning a race to know Him better and to bring glory to His Story. And, we’re called to seek Him and His Kingdom first, while laying up for ourselves heavenly treasures, not ones of earth. But, my fears? The ones that keep me replaying scenes of old or never-ever-before-seen footage? Well, those are all about earthly things… the spoiling and rusting and fading things. See, my fears keep me focused on my kingdom… on making sure that all the stones that have built it don’t tumble over and break it. And, those treasures I’m storing up show me where my heart is. And, where Jesus isn’t. Because, without Him at the heart of my story, it ceases to bring Him any glory.
His Voice. His Word. Well, it can break through even the most old and broken down story. And, He’s not shouting out like some frustrated director, “C’mon… This again?!? Let’s get it together now! Why are you so confused and fearful? Why are you such a broken down sinner!?”
No, His Whisper meets us right in the midst of the breaking and gently speaks loving truth into those dark broken places. With simply His Word, He breaks forth and brings all The Light that comes with all His Grace and Presence.
And, since I can’t see in the dark, trying to run from the broken down darkness won’t do anything but trip me up. Nope. A better option… the best, really, is to stand firm in it and see His deliverance from it. See the darkness-shattering-all-consuming Light of His Word cover over all of it.
And, really, all His best Stories tell of the breaking because the remaking is the most glorious part. So, as we walk on in our brave stories may every breaking be what sends us running to The One Who’s body was broken for our own remaking.
The Word that breaks the dark:
“What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.” (Matthew 10:27)
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” (2 Chronicles 20:17)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.” (Psalm 46:5)
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12: 1-2)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12)
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:8-16)