Day 2 of 31 Days of Fear...I ask for grace for this posting from the archives, but I'm working on something, and I plan to take a break over the weekends--weekend posts will be short but sweet--I hope you come back to take a look, to taste of glorious redemption as I soul-search and look for Jesus in the midst of my fears.
I set out, screen door slamming behind, metal vibrating and hear the crunch-crunch-crunch, wet, grainy- smooth underneath my running shoes and I can barely get a good breath in.
As I pound along the road, tightened ribs begin to separate and lungs expand and I suck in the oxygen deep like a milk-starved baby.
I throw my head back and look to the pink and purple sunset sky above and just run like that wild like a child.
And it's like in this inhaling, I'm breathing in God and the quietness settles heavy on me and a chorus rises, a symphony swells. And I can hear it all--the frogs in the marsh, birds call off to the east and the west, all around and crickets chirp in the grass my feet breeze past below. And it swells and rises up to meet me, lifts me up in it's crescendoing.
I run past a white-tail deer, leaping and bounding away from me and then the rushing water of the river underneath the bridge. I turn and go back, climb up on the rail, all childish giddiness, peering down into the water, listening to her quiet rhythm, and the flood waters rising, they touch me with their hush.
I run past fields turned marsh with standing flood waters where cows once grazed.
And God said to me, "All these flood waters? They are neck-high because you are drowning in my grace. And that weight that makes you feel you can't breathe? That's my glory. Daughter, your drowning is not without purpose--you're sinking in me."
I let out a cry and it comes out hard in pants as I run.
And God said, "Daughter, do you see the burning bush? And do you see the thundering mountain? I look up and see two dark clouds in the sky, one like a burning bush and one like a mountain.
"Sometimes, child, life's flames have felt too hot, the fire has seemed unquenchable and raging, but what you couldn't see in the consuming fire, was that it was me burning into you. And the mountain has thundered and shaken you. There has been a quaking and everything has toppled down, nothing has felt stable and now life is turned upside down, but sometimes that is the way I move, thundering and shaking. And it's been me all along. Though you searched hard, I've been right with you the whole time.
And God said, "Those trees you see that look as if they are about to slide under the sucking current--what you can't see is that underneath the water, the roots go deep and strong because they've been hit over and over and over by the storm and they know how to hold on."
Then God shows me a giant black hand in the sky and it's pointing to a huge black cloud that resembles a storm and covers a vast area of land. "This is how you've been guided all along," He whispers.
And God says, "Daughter, the whole time you felt I was nowhere to be found, even that I had forsaken you and you thought you were sinking, child--I was holding you up. And you see that joy on your face, do you feel that fierce love you have that covers over an offense? Do you sense new level of grace, that new-found freedom that makes you strong of heart, being firm in who you are in me, yet you are able to be Christ's scarred hands and feet to those who drive the nails in your own hands and feet?--That's my mark on you, daughter, because in the midst of the strorm, when I passed by as a cloud so intimately near, I left my imprint on you. Do you know you have my imprint? You bear my image, my name, my glory, my power, my resurrection life and there is no end to what you can do, child? Did you know?"
"Yes, I've left my imprint on you.
You. look. like. me."
The bats, they swoop low overhead, and look for prey in the night. The night-song rises and speaks to me. I hear God say, "Daughter, it's here in this night, in this groping-along darkness that you'll find your courage, your strength.
And fear won't stop you."
Faith swells and I'm swollen pregnant with this promise here in the dark.
*Edited post from the archives
Linking up with The Nester, and all the other 31-Dayers....This ought to be one wild, brave ride...
Do you struggle with fear, friend? What has God whispered to your heart about it? Your comments so encourage me. I draw strength from your kind words and knowing you were here. My faith walk is seasoned with the right ingredients when you hang around...