Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Words Chill Blood

Her words made my blood run cold.
She looked in my eyes as she took my hand --- and with such brokenness of heart she said, "i thought i had weighed what it might cost if i did this thing for the Lord, i thought i was prepared for whatever it would require of me or take from me. But i was wrong. It cost me much more than i ever imagined possible."
I asked, "But, if you had known then what you know now --- remembering the good that has come ----  wouldn't you have still obeyed"?
"No", came her whispered response ... "i would not ..."

It has taken me weeks to get past her words.
They caught in my throat and put lead in my steps.

When standing on the edge already, the edge of what is familiar and "doable", it can take breath from lungs to hear another speak so sadly of their beyond the edge world.

I've rolled it over and over with my Abba.
God - will you bless obedience? Will you care for those most dear to me, even as i remove my presence from them ---- according to your guidance? Self-righteous thinkers might foo-foo even the thought of the question. Goodness knows --- i have scolded myself for placing the words before the One who parted the Red Sea and breathed life into a dead man.
But, as my bare feet land on reality road ---- there is no allowance for soles of pretentiousness or piety.

He, Yahweh, says to me ---- "ask... there is no question you could form with your human, cracked clay lips that would be too ominous or disappointing to me donna..."

And so i have asked --- with great brokenness of heart and humility in my need.
"God, will you carry those who came from my womb? I know you will Lord --- yes -- it's what i declare everyday. They are yours - you only loaned them to me for my vapor-like days. But Lord --- as i step away from the air around them --- will you really protect them and cover them? Will you bless them and become their mama near by when they close their eyes to sleep at night? They do not need "me"--- (getting to be a part of their lives is just a pure pleasure to my heart) --- but they will always need YOU God. I know this, it is You that we all need.  -- Oh Lord --- will you not allow the enemy to harm them? Forgive me for letting her words pierce me so deeply. She implied that serving You meant i would be serving my children up to harm --- because the enemy would be angered over my obedience. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I know this is not true. But God -- it makes my heart slide up in to my throat. Be patient with me God. Help me lay them in your lap as my feet carry me far from them. It's what my head tells my heart to do --- but my heart struggles sometimes. They are safest in your lap. They are yours."

One sits in classes, learning to counsel those who are hurting. But he wonders sometimes if that solid path is where his feet need to be resting these days. Far away lands seems to call to him --- he wants to "live" large ---- not small. Guide him surely Lord --- to be where YOU have purposed for him to be. The "safe" mother's heart wants the sure path. But if you Lord are calling him to something else --- will you guide him without question, carry him through, and pour some extra peace-filled-courage in this knee bent mom.

One sits in classes, learning how to use colors, lines, shapes, and designs --- creativity flows from you through her --- it's beautiful what you create in front of her. She dreams of her days ahead, a wedding ring on her finger, babies in her arms. She talks to you almost constantly -- she hears you talking to her. From the other side of the world --- many moments will be missed as she glows in the days ahead. But you Lord, will be with her every moment, and you will be the One who places the sparkle in her eyes. May she find herself surrounded by those who will soften the air around her with love and kindness ---- always.

One sits in class, taking his last final exam of high school. Thank you God -- he graduates next week. This one you have allowed to join us for a time in Kenya. Thank you for that soul-deep-gift. You knew we might not be able to breathe without one of them near for at least a time. You've carried him through these 18 years -- you love him deeply. He's faced the temptations that come to young people these days. You've loved him no matter what. Please make him stronger in your ways as he moves into the days ahead. Oh God - please carry him surely into the place you purposed for him, when you were knitting him together. May the obedience of his parents be used only to propel him more surely on his own path with you.

When we are in a hard season, it's right to be honest --- but it is most important to remember that the sun is still shining on the other side of the dark clouds. Giving too much weight to the hardship only gives it power. Our Father is so good to us. He warns us --- "in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world"... John 16:33
That verse begins with these words ----- "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace."  Peace ---- in this world --- from my Father --- no matter what ---- 
Even if my world is rocked by ----
A- the dreaded diagnosis of Alzheimers?
B - Bankruptcy bashing my home
C - the test results show the lump is Cancer
D - Divorce defines the death of dreams
E - Explosions bring down buildings and shatters lives
In this world we will have trouble ----- not because God is careless or inattentive or absent or uncaring. Trouble comes because we live in a fallen place. 

God's plan was EDEN.

But now --- even now --- He stands ready to carry us through the "fall".

In America, we grow up thinking --- if i do all the right things, if i perform well, then blessings will be mine and hardships will be averted. This is a false idea. It does not line up with scripture at all. We can avoid some hard things by making wise choices. But no one --- NO ONE -- gets through this world untouched by pain.
So what do we do.
Those of us who know the feel of His touch ---- the peace that passes understanding even in the midst of the furnace ---- we "lean on, trust in, have confidence in the Lord, with all our heart and mind --- and we do not rely on our own insight or understanding..." Proverbs 3:5

I've pondered her words --- i've measured them according to God's Word --- i've laid them down under the blood of my Savior --- and i've found them to be empty.

Truth ---

Disobedience brings discipline.
But obedience will never bring destruction.
So, years from now ----- when someone sits before me with her trembling hands and asks ---
"donna - if you had known back then what you know now, would you still have obeyed God's call?"
Dear God --- may i with sincerest confidence be able to honestly reply --- "Oh yes - oh yes."   

Thank you God for not thinking less of me because i ask ...
Thank you God for growing me even in my weakness...
Thank you God for your promises ---- You love these dear ones far more than i do...
Thank you God for your plans to give us all --- a hope and a future ---- in You.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

And God --- for the dear hurting lady whose words carried such pain --- i ask You to bring her to the place where she can see you for the good, great God that you are --- fully able to overcome the enemy's schemes --- and to use what was meant for harm to bring about good.  May she come to the place soon --- where she can see "beauty from ashes". Isaiah 61:3 ---   Oaks of Righteousness grow out of the hard times --- when watered by You Lord. Amen.

©2012 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe

1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna- It's Patty Keller from Vista CA - a Heart for Africa participant some time ago (summer of 2007 - I think). I saw you again when you came out for the San Diego Marathon/Half Marathon. Love the thoughts you have penned for us here. Life is truly " A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" (to borrow from Eugene Petersen), a clinging on to the promises of God amidst the storms and disappointments of life. I long to meet the woman you describe at the beginning of your blog - to put my arms around her and thank her for her kingdom service. I am saddened by her regrets. I desire to live with "no regrets " when it comes to kingdom work - but I feel entrenched in this world and I struggle to "throw off everything that so easily entangles"..... the world and its expectations! - - Your thoughts have challenged my thinking in an amazing way - and I thank you for it.