Saturday, December 12, 2009

carried across the chasm.

"...nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:39

I've often said that I have no idea how I got here, to where I am today. I only know that it was definitely not by own two feet. When others have asked what total and complete surrender really is or how one comes to that point, I am at a burdensome loss. I'm burdened because I want to take out a piece of paper and write down instructions; Burdened because there are no instructions; burdened because contemporary Christian culture has tried to water down the glory and the mystery of Christ into instructions: walk the aisle, pray the prayer, accept Jesus into your heart. not that those things are inherently wrong in and of themselves, but one can do all of those things and never truly surrender their lives and hearts to Christ. I know because I am one who did.

No one can predict or prescribe the grace of God. I cannot define how it happens or even when it happens, I only know that it happens. And it hapens in accordance with His timing, His purpose and His will.

It was a long, long, loooong [enter long a hundred more times here) road home for me. It was not instanteous "A-HA" moment with lightning bolts and thunder. It began as a whisper; a distant calling. Frankly, one I didn't want to answer. Just as I stated in my public profession of faith, it was at the point I truly expected God to give up on me - and far past the point that I'd wanted Him to - that His pursuit of my heart intensified.

When I finally began to answer that call, it wasn't an immediate fall-to-my-face moment of confession and repentence, but blatant honesty with Him. I shared my truth of what I desired: to follow my heart; to be true to myself; to live in the pursuit of my own happiness.

The Lord, in His infinite wisdom, did not rebuke my honesty - or my selfishness. Instead, He reciprocated by sharing His truth about what He desired: the truth that my heart is "wicked and deceitful above all things"; He desired for me to be true to Him, and had created me to pursue holiness - and not happiness. But His desire - his deepest desire - was simply me. All of me. Every stinking fiber of my being. Every shred of my devotion and affection and desire. He wanted to become the all sufficient, total and complete satisfier of my soul. Why? Because that is what He created me for. Why? Because He loved me. loved me. He loved me. ME? the prodigal, wandering, selfish, rebellious runaway. are you kidding me?

Brennan Manning in his latest book, The Furious Longing of God, writes:

When the night is bad and my nerves are shattered and the waves break over the sides, Infinity speaks. God Almighty shares through His Son the depth of His feelings for me, His love flashes into my soul, and I am overtaken by mystery. These are moments of kairos — the decisive in-break of God’s fury into my personal life’s story.

It is then I face a momentous decision.

Shivering in the rags of my seventy-four years, I have two choices. I can escape below into skepticism and intellectualism, hanging on for dear life. Or, with radical amazement, I can stay on deck and boldly stand in surrendered faith to the truth of my belovedness, caught up in the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God. And learn to pray. (pp. 130-131)

It wasn't over the course of one dark night, but many that I began to experience what Manning describes above. I had my first experience with Christ at the age of fifteen and though I was now a grown woman, the fifteen year old me - she was still there inside of me. still aching for the love of a father and desperately wanting to go home, wherever home really was.

He picked me up and carried me to the place I had always belonged. There was only one way to cross the chasm between who I was and who He was calling me to become - and that was in His arms.

I couldn't follow Him until He'd brought me to the other side. He delivers us to our own earthly "promised land" where our theology meets our reality and the one thing I've learned is that we can't purchase our own ticket or walk their with our own feet. He carries us.

Let Him carry you.

4 comments:

  1. So true, Nadia. We struggle so much when we try to get there in our own strength. You would think it'd be so easy to let Him carry us, but for so many of us (like myself), when our Christian walk is new, we try so hard to "follow the law" and somehow miss following Him. Then when it becomes too difficult (in our own strength), we slowly wander off the path until we're right back where we were.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing your heart, Nadia. It has helped to confirm my own experiences seeking Him during my short (15-month) journey as a new believer. I saw your comment on the Scruggs' blog, and followed the trail to your blog here. I am 4.5 months post-divorce, and it was that crisis that He used to bring me to Him. I've also come across Traylor's story, and corresponded with him. His and the Scruggs' story have bolstered the hope of reconciliation that God put on my heart when the D-bomb was first dropped in 2008. I will pray that God uses your situation to reconcile you and Chris in a way that brings Him the glory.

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks so much. r.s., i cannot tell you what it means to receive comments such as yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nadia - Its been amazing to me to see God reveal Himself in people's lives such as yours when they surrender to Him. I've read through many of your postings. There is no doubt that you have a heart for God - its right there on your sleeve :) I also sensed more than a glimmer of hope that you have for reconciliation. Don't be afraid to embrace it. You (and others) will regularly question your own sanity, because you are believing in that which is unseen - that which seems impossible. But that sounds like the definition of faith, right? Is it God's will to heal your marriage? I hope He answers that question in such a way that brings you an unexplainable peace...

    ReplyDelete