It's been a while. And I haven't had "writer's block". I have so much to say, to write, to express...but just can't. Anyone else have your own "secret hell"? The feelings of being so deeply feeling as a human are very difficult to put into intelligible words. These private feelings surely have afforded me the strange clarity necessary to wholly desire Jesus, the only one who truly knows and has the power to deliver me from myself - and from the pain of my humanness.
I need a rescue. My life ship has been tossed about at sea, it's foundation rocked, the storm too great to weather - despite my carefully controlled and measured architectural outline for its success. I did all the things. I got the map, the compass, I followed the plans, stayed on course, gathered the necessary supplies, chose a faithful first mate who would surely shepherd our three little pirates with grace - I very meticulously and responsibly stocked the boathouse of my life. I even hired the only fail proof "Captain" - the one who would assuredly "Take the Wheel" if I proclaimed the popular phrase loudly and emphatically enough.
I need a rescue. My sail is torn. But, it is more than a tear - it is a hole. The sewing kit I packed is not sufficient for the necessary reinforcement required. Holes are permanent - their impact leaving an empty space, truly never to be repaired in a way that restores integrity to its original form. Just where can I, while being tossed about at sea, secure a patch big enough and strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds? Will my holey sail's imperfection place my crew at greater risk of peril? Should I resign my sail, folding it carefully and placing it beneath the deck? Why didn't I plan better? I should have packed a back up sail for such a journey!
I need a rescue. My compass is water logged. I thought I knew the right way to go. Surely, I don't really need to consult the navigation system on a daily basis - I know the way! I get the plan! I have been laying down proper plans and foundations from the very beginning and really - all along the journey. I follow the rules! I read the manual! I get this life on the boat! But, wait, I cannot see any land. I can only see water - and in my swelling insecurity - I begin to fear its overtaking me. I imagine waves pulling me under and slapping the earth with my limp lifeless skeleton. I imagine my boat and all that is a part of me vanishing into the swirling sea.
I need a rescue. My subconscious torments me. Why won't it catch up with my conscious mind that knows the truth of my Captains love and faithfulness to me? I battle all night long - the threat of capture after the chase, the horror of not being able to scream for help, the exposure of every part of me left vulnerable without protection wondering why no one would dare fight for me. I wake exhausted from it all, barely believing the new mercies of every morning are for me.
I need a rescue. My efforts a wash. My plans not only thwarted but derailed in a way never to travel that same track again. My security denied. My comfort upended. My belief of anything good in this world truly burnt to an ashy crisp.
And as I watch the wreckage, the battered parts of me, of my boat, of my soul, succumb to the earthly pressure, I let out a long tired exhale. How. Did. I. Get. Here? And while we are at it, Why?
John 3:30 says "He must increase, but I must decrease".
In my desperation for a rescue, I realize that the only one who can rescue me has been holding out his hand the entire time. Ready to pull me back into the boat, right my course, repair my sail, calm my fears, quiet my mind, restore my soul. But I have been running, swimming, fighting, kicking, screaming, begging even. I have been running away from Him. I have been fine by myself. After all, I have years of experience of doing it myself, "pulling myself up by the bootstraps" and "putting my big girl panties on and dealing with it".
I have really had to be forced to decrease. And that has been absolutely excruciating. It has been like enduring a crucible. The crushing, grinding and demolition of my own way has been truly, an out of body experience for me. As humans, we don't see things as God does and that is well understood from the beautiful pages of Holy Scripture. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" - Isaiah 55:9.
It is this verse, the recognition that it is expected that I will not understand His ways brings me such deep peace and surrender. If I am not expected or even designed in a way to understand God's ways, then essentially, the pressure is off. No more frantically planning for the storm, packing the boat, securing the sail and packing an extra... No more fearing the waves that have yet to even surface. No more jaw dropping at the behavior of others. No more clawing my way up the mountain without harness, rope or helmet as I desperately seek to stay in the fight for the little guy, the bullied one, the one whose experiences trigger my own - all the while that same bully stepping on my fingers at every excruciating grip I have left to muster. No more places of shocking paralysis over the injustices of this world.
I need a rescue. And that rescue is from myself, my deeply thinking self. Accepting what is, letting go of what was and having faith in what will be is inscribed on my new bracelet. The message, so simple and seemingly so easy. But for those of us deeply thinking and feeling people, the struggle is very real to release the pain of the deep wounds we know need to be cleaned, treated, covered and allowed time to heal. This healing process is so hard when the insults continue - whether in real-time or remembered. Really, it's more like these wounds need time to scar. And that reality is hard. But - scars don't hurt like their original afflictions once did. And once formed, scars allow us to fully function again.
I really don't need a rescue. I have a Rescuer. I need to accept and grip tightly His loving outstretched hand. He has always been there, He will never leave me, He has given me a daily guide for my forgetfulness. He has given me divine insight into life on this earth - a life that will undoubtedly be wrought with struggle - but not struggle that is without eternal purpose. He has promised healing to me. He has promised rest to me. He has promised rescue to me. It is just up to me to choose to be rescued or not. And that is a daily choice.
Let me start by accepting His rescue this day.