The Lord has been doing much in my life recently. So many little gifts have been presented to me as I have learned to be still and trust God. Just as Moses said to the Israelites when they were scared and wanting to go back to Egypt when they saw the peril both in front and behind:
“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14 (I added the bold and italics!)
So many times we want we beg to go back to the last-most-comfortable place in life, even when we know that place was awful and not serving us well. Look at the Israelites: they begged for slavery just so that when they died they didn’t have to be graveless. They pled, saying, at least we know where we will be buried!
How familiar that feeling is. If only we would stand still. Learning to stand still–now that is a lifelong task. But, if only, we could get a glimpse of the trust that it takes in Jesus to just be still. If we could taste the sweetness of being still and begin to let God battle for us. And as we watch Him battle, we have energy for the celebration of defeat. Instead of being weary of the fight; instead of feeling beat up and broken down from the journey; we can relish in our victory that Jesus stood in the gap for us.
Once again, the Lord has reminded me that the battle is His. This journey towards trusting Him to protect me. Trusting Him to care for me. Trusting myself that I won’t implode from lack of control. Seeing myself in my own story, but also seeing everyone else and their stories in it too. This process has taken a lot of toil. I have been so broken. I felt like there was no air left in my lungs. I ran out of tears and then cried some more. I raged until there was nothing left. I felt half-human. The process of redemption and healing doesn’t begin with immediate trust and relinquishing control. For me, it is happening towards the end. The sweet, sweet wrapping up of this part of my healing.
I felt led to the story of David and Goliath. Such a familiar story isn’t it? Giant vs. shrimp. Ill-equipped shepherd boy vs. a lifetime warrior. But was David really ill-equipped? I’m pretty sure God knew just what he was preparing David for when he was practicing his sling shot routine on lions and bears!!
David was sent to the battlefront to deliver food to his brothers and some cheese to Saul. He even had to find his own shepherd coverage to watch over his sheep while he was gone! David arrived and saw Goliath and was like what the heck? He’s talking like THAT to God’s armies?! By the way–Goliath had been talking like that twice a day for 40 days–no one had stepped up. So David found Saul and said he would fight him. He was too little to swing Saul’s sword, so he took all that nonsense off and grabbed some stones. I think he knew what God had prepared him for right that moment. He says to Goliath:
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied…All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45, 47)
See? The battle is the Lord’s. David only had to swing one stone. The Israelites just had to walk through the Red Sea. I’m not saying that getting to this point is easy or even natural. I’m not saying you can pray and then immediately give up control. I’m not even saying that any of this happens on a timeline or that you will know it’s happening even when it is. What I am saying is that as you allow Jesus to woo you, as you allow Him into some areas you haven’t yet before, as you stare directly into your own desolation and isolation and stand firm–it is then that you will receive some miraculous gifts. For no other reason than you are loved by the Almighty. He is jealous for you. He is grieved for you. His grief has not lessened since that day in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Can we learn to let go of the weight of a portion our story? Can we begin to let some light shine in an area we have been avoiding? Can we have enough grace for ourselves to admit desire and need and connection? Can we spend some time reflecting on those areas where we are holding tightly and begin to loosen our grip–just to see what happens? Can we let our imagination run wild with what true freedom looks like?
Let us begin. Let us step. Let us tell our stories. Let us journey together towards a true self.