So, just to fill you in… I’ve felt real stuck lately. Stuck and suffocated by the same old fears and worries and broken. Even some newer ones. And oh, how my faith is weak. Simply putting on a smile is hard some days. And, when you know Jesus calls you to a life of thankfulness and joy, but you can’t seem to locate their residence in your own heart, it can seem doubly hard. And, I feel such turmoil over my own turmoil.
I wish I could say it was different. I wish I could tell you I never wage wars inside these deep pits of despair. I wish I could tell you that I was filled with joy and peace and faith at all times. That I loved well all who God has lovingly placed in my life. That I live for Him, them, and His, every day. That I don’t break trust or hearts or promises. I wish I could tell you that I loved living for Jesus each moment. That I never doubt His love. That I feel completely content and fulfilled and hopeful. That I never struggle against any fear or rage or pride or selfishness. I wish I could tell you that every ending is happy. I wish I could tell you that I’m never confused… never dislike myself… never get so stuck on a thought, that the mere thought of letting it go even for a second, makes me anxious. I wish I was filled with the faith that moves mountains or uproots mulberry trees and places them in the sea. I wish I could tell you that I don’t feel like sometimes the air stops moving all around me and I can’t seem to fill my lungs with a full breath. I wish I could tell you that I haven’t battled these things for most of my life. I wish I could tell you I never battle them anymore now that I know Jesus.
I wish I could tell you these things because I wish I could tell myself these things… I wish I could say them, because I wish they were true. Fact is, though… they’re not.
So, what happens when you have a blog and thoughts you feel called to share, but you can’t find a thing to say because the truth about yourself is too ugly and not at all enjoyable to read… and, it’s not even supposed to be about you to begin with? Ugh.
Though, I confess… It. Is. All. About. Me.
And, ohhhhhh how it’s killing me. All this living for me. Because, I’ve got nothing to offer anyone. Let alone, myself. Least of all, you.
Yet… it’s been not so long ago that we collectively celebrated THE Answer to what’s killing me.
Because, His is THE Story, isn’t it? And, at this point in my story, all I really can find to do is sit empty, right at the foot of The Cross in the center of that Story, filling up on the truth of Who He Is and all the glory of His Story. Confessing and resting at the feet of The One who has freely offered Himself as the answer to any one of my questions. Any confusion. Any doubt. Any fear, worry, or broken.
Simply because… He’s the I AM (John 8:58) to any stuck and suffocating “me” parts in my untold story.
He is the foundation that stays firm when everything around seems to be giving way. And, I want to believe this. Have more faith to know this. I’m grasping at His Word to take hold, once and for all, of this. If that’s even possible. How I want to believe it is the most possible thing.
Sometimes faith comes easy. In this part of the story, it’s the hardest part.
See, I want to consider it all joy and I want to love people well and I want faith the looks The Father in His Perfect Face and says, “Thy Will be done!” I want the strength to boast all the more gladly in my weakness, so His power may rest upon me at my weakest. I want the passion to lift up the name of Jesus as the response to any question. I want to love The Lord, my God, with all my heart and soul and mind and strength and I want, desperately, to love all others as I love myself. I want to shout down the enemy as he shoots his arrows at we who bear the image of the God he wants to hurt. I want that hope that does not disappoint. I want to hear my Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I want the life hidden for me in Christ Jesus… the one prepared in advance before the world even began. I want to live my story well and bring Him all the glory, just as well.*
But, that story seems stuck in the thickest of mire.
So, now what?
What do you do when you come to the end of all your “me”? (Again) When you seem to have more prayers than answers? When your faith seems faded… your joy jaded… and your dreams dead? What do you do when you seem all prayed out, cried out, hoped out? When you thought you’d finally been placed right side up in just the right spot, but the ground is sinking all around? When you thought you’d asked the right questions and heard the right answers, but the life right around you doesn’t seem to have gotten the right memo?
Maybe in some way these very sentences in my story are a step towards getting unstuck? The first step of faith that will cause the power of Him Who is for me to wage the war battling around me. The cry that will pluck me out of the stuck place and set these weary feet onto a solid space. Maybe this is the mustard seed that will move that mountain into the sea?
I want to believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.
A storm rages all around right now. A literal one. And finally, too, because we actually need the rain around here. Droughts make all that’s living thirsty for water. Life dries up and browns up and withers up and dies apart from life-giving water.
And, though it tarries, we will wait.
And, what better place to wait than at the foot of That Cross? With eyes transfixed on Him, Who fixed it all by breaking His Own and spilling His Life.
Reconciling, Restoring, Redeeming, Resurrection Life.
And though, while the visible expression has yet to arrive… and, may never this side of heaven, His Promises kept by His Obedience to death on that cross supply the daily grace for our stories… The hope of His Glory. His death may have finished the work of clearing our guilty verdict, but His Resurrection Life promises us that His best is yet to come. His Death Overcoming Life makes living for ‘me’ one solitary death sentence, but living In Him, the only life-giving story worth living.
So, as I look to The Life Who was laid down so that I could live on as one with Him and His Father (John 17:22), I must lay down my own devotion to what’s killing me. I must lay down the “me” part in “my story” and recall the covenant promises made by the Great I AM in His Story.
When I look around and can’t see a way… or truth… or life. I need to remember He’s The Way. The Truth. The Life. (John 14:6)
He’s my only Way. My only Truth. My only Life.
And then, when I cry, “Where is my…”
peace? I AM (Eph 2:14)
help? I AM (Heb 13:5-6)
intercessor? I AM (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25)
salvation? I AM (Acts 4:12)
healer? I AM (Matthew 8:14-17)
righteousness? I AM (1 Corinthians 1:30)
friend? I AM (John 15:15)
life? I AM (Colossians 3:3)
way to The Father? I AM (Hebrews 10:20)
Because to every shout of “me”, Jesus replies, “I AM.“
I AM The One Who is, and who was, and who is yet to come. (Revelation 1:8)
I AM the author and finisher of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
I AM… and there is no savior besides Me. (Isaiah 43:8-14)
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’ “ (Matthew 11:28)
“… Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink… streams of living water will flow from within…'” (John 7:37-38)
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
* James 1:2-4, Matthew 6:10, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Matthew 22:36-40, Ephesians 6:10-18, Romans 5:5, Matthew 25:21, Ephesians 2:10