“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
This is my favorite verse. I believe this. Sometimes I read it and smile. Sometimes I read it and weep. Sometimes I cling to it with my fingernails in fear of falling into the great abyss. This is one of those times. I am weak. God has promised that His power is made perfect in our weakness. I know that. I should give thanks for my weakness, but the human part of me still hurts so much. The human me wants to stand up and fight back. The human me wants to defend myself for being wronged. The human me wants to tick off my list of injustices. Yet, I know that I am called to put Grace into the gap between what is happening and the way that I feel, because Christ lives in me and I am a new person now. Grace has been given to me by my Father in Heaven and I must extend it to others, every… single…time. He gave us the perfect example. I know this and I want to do this but …wanting and doing are divided by a chasm of human pain. The Christ in me needs to start building a bridge.
The human me feels that there is no possible good outcome. Battles are never easy. There are always casualties, but I am reminded “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” That will be the prayer that brings me hope. We are told to “trust in the LORD with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding; in all our ways acknowledge him, and he will make our paths straight.” The human me wants to scream my frustration and confusion as I attempt to understand. The Christ in me will acknowledge the Lord.
It’s really hard being a disciple of Christ. There are only two rules and they both involve Love. They are so simple and yet…so…very…difficult. Better men than I have struggled in this way…so I take some measure of comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Paul, who was hand picked by Jesus to spread His message to the world, writes so profoundly in Romans about his struggles. Paul’s words let me know that I have comrades in this battle. I am not excusing myself. Instead, I sit and I hug God’s Word around me like a well worn quilt and I know I will find comfort. I know that if I ask, it will be given. I know that if I seek I will find. I know that if I knock, the door will be opened. I want the Christ in me to win over the human me.
“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”~ Philippians 4:13
That is a Tree Star!
I wrote the above message a few weeks ago in the middle of the night. I know that it may elicit questions I do not wish to answer. However, I hope it elicits a recognition of being in a place of darkness and the challenges you found there. I hope that it elicits Hope in knowing that we serve an Awesome God who loves us.
In Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7 – An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, she mentions the Seven Sacred Pauses having to do with prayer that were written by a member of a monastic community . Each pause has a focus. The Night Watch is one of those pauses. This is a time of waiting and interceding, keeping vigil with Christ who never sleeps and guards us in our darkest hours. This is a time when the Night Watch prayer advocates for others in a dark night of the soul: for those who are suffering. I believe that on this particular night I must have had an advocate praying on my behalf and I am so very thankful.