the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times. Lamentations 3:19-27
Last night I went to "Before The Throne" at my church. It was an extended time of worship preceded by a brief teaching. The focus this week was Worship as an Act of Faith. That is, worshiping God for what He is going to do, not just what He has done.
I don't do that so good. I'm great at worshiping Him for who He is and what He's done, but what He's yet to do....? Not so much. Mainly because, in all honesty, I don't really trust that He will do it. So I take the cowardly way out and wait till He does.
Last night, though, I made a decision. A choice. I choose to believe the promises He's given me. I choose to believe for the dreams and hopes and desires He's placed in my heart. Though it take my lifetime, I will worship Him for what He will do. Until He comes through for me or until He tells me to stop, I will worship Him for what He will do.
As we were singing and focusing on God, He gave me this image; put this image in my mind. It was of Him taking out my heart and replacing it with a fresh one -- a new, vibrant, strong bright red one. And then He breathed into me, not just over me or on me, but into me. Like CPR. New heart for new breath -- or new breath for new heart -- like new a wineskin for new wine.
I saw so clearly in that moment that, now, every breath I breathe is from Him. They all come from that one breath He breathed into and over me.
He held me tight in His arms for a while, like a mother holds her crying, hurting toddler. Like my mom always held me when I was crying and hurting. And as if to really drive His love-point home, the band then led us in singing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," one of my mom's favorite hymns. I couldn't even sing; just stood there and wept. This time not out of missing my mom, though. This time I cried because I felt His love so profoundly - and my mom's love so clearly too. It was as if my mom was standing there holding me tight, caressing me the way she would and whispering that it's all going to be okay. Only I knew it wasn't my mom. It was God.
Then He looked me in the eyes and made it clear to me that I don't stop Him from doing anything He wants to do (I so often fear I've thwarted God's will or desires because of my own failings). He made it so very powerfully clear that I cannot stop Him, thwart Him, or keep His love or His will from invading my life and accomplishing His dreams for me (Romans 8 has been one of His constant words to me the last couple of weeks).
I believe God promises healing, recovery, wholeness. I also believe that God has a job where I can be of service and blessing to someone. But so often that belief gets buried under an avalanche of fear and doubt, worry and waffling. Perhaps the promises don't apply to me... perhaps there's some mark I've got to hit first and maybe I didn't jump high enough, believe hard enough, pray long enough, do enough. I waffle. I doubt. I fear that I'm not good enough.
But last night... I was never more convinced of His promises and His desires, to the core of my being, than I was last night, standing in the Barn before God's Throne, singing and crying out to Him.
One of the worship singers talked about fear; about how God may have us out on a ledge, feet half off hanging out into the air, and the fear we feel when we stare out into that nothingness. Lord do I know that fear! Absolute terror is what I've felt for months now --nearly half a year!
But this worship singer-leader said to us, "whatever it is He's asking you to do, where ever it is He's got you dangling your feet and staring out into the depths. Just step into it. Step off the ledge and into His will, into His arms, into the dark. Just step off."
So this is me stepping off the ledge, into the unknown, into His arms. Believing God for healing and wholeness. Believing God for recovery and redemption of all my crap. Believing God for a job, a place of service with my name on it. And worshiping Him for what He is going to do.