I sat watching the waves crash onto the shore, feet dug deep in the sand, absolutely mesmerized.
Transcendent beauty painted against the backdrop of power and strength.
Life, healing, wholeness, delight, joy, and majestic glory hovering over might, massive depths, commanding respect and fear.
I thought about that thing I was angry about. That circumstance I knew He had the power to change and wasn’t. And so I was frustrated. And I didn’t want to read. I didn’t want to listen. (Yes, I was trying to boycott the God of the Universe…and didn’t get very far.) And soon, I was desperate for His love once again.
It’s like the ocean.
Beautiful tension. Unmistakable contrast.
The very Word that saved my soul, healed my gashes, and soothed my aches has also incited long, sweaty wrestling matches…igniting internal struggles reaching to the very depths of my soul.
And it is the strangest struggle. A battle I know I won’t win, but I try.
My humanity fighting for breath. His gracious hand heavy on me.
And it is the strangest tension.
For it is the very words that command respect, honor, and submission, that produce abundant joy. And peace. And life. And hope.
The very thing that has the capacity to stir my rebellious spirit, always drives me to my knees in surrender.
The very thing that I push hard against, run from, holds me tight in arms of peace, and soon softly quiets my struggle.
The fight. Temporal and eternal. Flesh and majesty. My desires pitted against His love, goodness.
His grip tight, gracious, healing, molding my desires to His.
And that grip is grace. And that wrestling is grace. And love.
Because it is in the very struggle that I am changed.
And that wrestling drives pride to surrender.
Confusion to peace.
Anger to joy.
For it is from the very thing I want to run, that I am commanded to hold dear.
To meditate on. To love. To obey.
It is the very Word of God.
A sword. Sharper than the most jagged edges of sin. Than the hardest hearts and most calloused hands. The only cure for the sin sick soul. The only answer to the hopelessness. The only healing balm. Able to stand against, to fight, the most deadly thoughts, sin, pride, anger.
It is my air to breathe. My water to drink. There is no life outside of those words. There is no light outside of its shelter.
In those words are found life abundant. Words that will make the way prosperous, successful.
Why do I run from those Words? Words of promise and truth.
For it is in those Words that He is near.
It is in those Words that there is strength and courage.
It is from those Words I am never to depart.
It is behind the shield of those Words I will not tremble. I will not be dismayed.
It is in those Words that He. Is. With. Me.
It is in those Words I find meaning and hope.
It is in those Words I find love.
It is to those Words I will cling, and never let go. I will not let it depart from my mouth, from my heart. Regardless of the pain, regardless of the confusion, regardless of the ache, regardless of the circumstances.
For HE is my life. And it is in His Words I find life abundant. For the Lord MY God is with me. And I need not be afraid.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9
What about you? Have you felt this tension? Have you ever not wanted to read those life-giving words, knowing they would heal you? Have you run from its promises toward your own desires? How did He draw you back? What did you learn?
(Thanks so much for reading.)
P.S. For those who follow this blog, I apologize for the lag between posts this week–I was out of town, taking much needed time for refreshment and relaxation:) Sitting on the sand, contemplating this post, actually!