Monday, June 25, 2012

White Water

There once was a girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was bad...she was very, very bad. Well actually, she didn't behave very, very badly, but she was very, very bad in her heart. Sometimes, she felt so bad that she would lie on her bed and cry, struggling in confusion over the flesh and spirit battle within her little curly head. Ultimately, God kept her from destroying or even tarnishing her life and that of those around her very much, because of His great mercy. 

Although very thankful for His protection, there was always a teeny tiny part of her mind that wondered what it would have been like had she went ahead and acted on some of those curiosities and self centered pursuits. Not ever enough to actually act, but enough to cause certain emotional times to become much more traumatic than appreciated. Kind of like holding on tight to a life preserver while white water waves try to pull her under to the deep darkness (we did a lot of canoeing growing up). Those testing episodes never ended, but they did grow weaker and less frequent. Too many examples of painful lives all around you eventually convince a person to stop entertaining those lies and just trust that God knows what He is talking about.

With many silver strands now highlighting those curls, the little girl cherishes those often unappreciated principles and precepts of scripture. Like Thomas, she is tempted to ask Jesus to show her the scars to prove His truth. How much more blessed we are when we have the courage to trust His word, rather than to insist on experiencing the truth and bear the scars ourselves.

Thomas said:
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25

Jesus responds:
“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

The heart never stops having moments of distrust, but the closer we stand next to the One who bears the scars for us, the less intense and powerful those moments become. All the enticements of this lying world cannot compare to the joy and peace found in Jesus. Being well past the eye of this spiritual storm, I see many young souls just heading into it. My heart prays that they will find courage to brave the storm, hold tight to His nail scared hands and  overcome the waves. As Michael Card so eloquently captured the thought:

"So surrender the hunger to say you must know,
Find the courage to say I believe"

...and be blessed.

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