Thursday, September 13, 2012

beside quiet waters

Something has clicked. Like coming out of the deep, dank forest into a wide green valley, beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.
Something has blossomed. I've been looking at those buds for the better part of a year and I've felt this refrain of "it's time, it's time" and I ask "time for what?" but there's no answer. So I take it day by day with trust and hope. Setting aside the fear and worry and self-doubting and the need for everything to be explained, understood and pre-packaged with a neat little bow.
But I' discovering that in the quiet places there are new battles to fight.

I worry if I'm being humble enough. I've fallen on my face spiritually. I gave up a LOT of ground and I had to fight hard to get even just a little bit of it back, so I tend to take that scripture to heart " he who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall" I don't particularly relish falling. I tend to fear it, glance over my shoulder to see if it's coming, bracing myself for impending impact.

The other day I was really feeling the weight of this fear. I want to enjoy this season God has brought me to. I want to lift up my face, soak up the sunlight of His love and run in fields of grace. But this fear makes me just stand there, hands in my pockets. Heart full of longing, feet too fearful of falling to run. 

What if I'm deceiving myself? What if in my zeal I'm puffing myself up? What if I'm doing these things for the wrong reasons? What if I'm walking strait out of the path of blessing? 

I tend to imagine that the Holy Spirit has a sense of humor. I imagine that sometimes he watches as I fumble and flail and he rolls his eyes as he says to himself " here we go again" he takes my face in his hands and says "do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth"?! not that the Holy Spirit quotes Jackie Chan movies, I'm just saying he could.

This is HIS salvation that HE is working in me that HE will complete. I can fight Him, not cooperate with Him, but I can't really outrun Him, outdo Him, or outgrow Him. I can't sanctify myself. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. I am the canvas, not the painter. Any holiness I might have is God's holiness at work in me, not my own mustered up by self-discipline.

I remember the cycle of the seasons. The quiet seasons of underground struggle as my roots grow. I bloom and branch out as I relate with other people, getting involved in my church, working at making relationships a priority. Then I am pruned. I go through a trial and get to see how my faith has grown, though maybe not quite as much as I thought ;) I rest in the knowledge that this is the time for growing. For unreservedly running full-tilt into the things of God, for throwing my arms wide open and receiving everything that is being offered. 

I constantly look over my shoulder for self-righteousness to show up, until I give that battle to the Lord. I ask him to reveal it when I'm out of line and take a pin to my big over-inflated head any time he pleases, and then I run. 

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