At the library fumble-writing this chapter 2 of my capstone while also trying to figure out just how GOOD God is.
I look back over my life these past few months…God not only took care of me without full time employment, but He also handed me back things I thought were long buried.
He is restoring things I had decided I could be all right without. Lots of things.
Things I had lain on the altar of sacrifice as a part of my vow to go every step of the way.
Things I had turned away from and counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.
I watched them all go up in smoke. Burned away from me til nothing was left but ashes and the little bit of me He kept.
Can you imagine my surprise when I found myself sitting with these desires back in my lap fully manifested from His hand? Cuz I had neither the means nor the thought.
Our Father is kind. I am grateful.
I had let this dream go.
I had made up in my mind that I WOULD BE OKAY if I never achieved this thing, if my season had passed, if I had missed my time and my turn because I took on this other life. I had learned to live with the swells of ruthless regret and pray off the inevitable envy of watching my peers prosper while I started over again… and again…and again. I had made a vow to the Lord when He spared my life that I would live each and every day for Him, flaws and all. Lost and lonely. Afraid. Repentant. Working out my salvation whatever that looked like, however long it took. That I would pay my vow, so that my prayers would be effective. I let becoming a prince of Egypt go and settled in the desert, a stranger in a strange land tending things that belonged to other people and blessing the name of the Lord in what seemed like a never ending stress of barrenness.
So many things I let go of.
I learned to be okay without. To hold space for others who lacked the capacity to make room for me. To be the bridge that other people walked across and never even turned to wave goodbye as they ran forward. To pick up the broken pieces all around me and put them back in God’s hands while reassuring the broken that the reshaping wouldn’t last forever. All while still missing some of my own broken pieces, and people stepping on those scattered shards, grinding them down to nothing while they rushed to victory.
So many things.
When God said He would restore everything that the cankerworm had eaten, I didn’t realize that could include my eaten up dreams, too.
It’s an overwhelming thing. To write academic work with dexterity and nimbleness of thought is harder to do now. I’m older and tired and lonely and sometimes not well in my body and not as quick as I used to be. This moment has challenged me beyond words. Some days I feel frozen, plagued with the thought, Can I even do this anymore?
But every step of the way, I keep hearing the Holy Spirit remind me, “This one is between the two of us. Just the two of us. Cuz I remembered you. When you could have walked away, you took the more excellent way. And I wanted you to know that I remembered.”￼
Put a pin 📍 here. Be right back.
There are so many ways we could go. So many options, and so many times? God hasn’t put a “this or that” on the decision. He simply gives you room to choose. Your responsibility is to count the cost, to determine which set of possible outcomes and consequences you can manage and move forward.
I said that and then also: There is always a more excellent choice while you’re choosing.
God gave you—gave us free will. We get to decide if we want to do evil. If we want to do good. If we want failure. If we want success. And also? If we want to do God’s will. If we want to have what Joshua was promised: GOOD SUCCESS. And yes! There is a difference, make no mistake. The difference lies in which kind of God’s will you’re walking in. Is it the permissive one, in which we all operate all the time? Because the word says: It’s because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed; and O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; and His mercy endures forever; and all things work together for the good; and if we repent He is faithful and just to forgive us.
But there is a more excellent way to be had. Always.
When Jesus prayed in the garden, He knew He had options just like us. He was tempted to ask God to reconsider if there was another way. And then? Jesus capitulated. He decided: “Not what I want, but what You have chosen.”
To choose what God wills over what we want is always the more excellent way. To go through what happens while we walk that way! That’s the Cross. The daily dying to what I want—what after all this time I’d still prefer—and dying joyfully because what’s beyond the pain is God’s presence? God’s glory? God’s well done? That, my friends, is crucifying the flesh.
Make no mistake. The cost of Calvary was the flesh. His flesh in place of mines, yours, ours. The glory that comes from it? Totally worth it and then some.
Like I said, He remembers.
You can pull that pin now.
When Jesus gave His obedience unto the death of the cross, He did it for God’s approval, you understand? What He got though? He got conferred the name at which we all much now and confess whether you do it on earth side or before the throne: Lord of all.
I don’t know what God has for you particularly because of your obedience to His will. No idea. Can’t really say what all He might have for me. Like I said, I have learned to just give thanks for my life at this point because I really could be dead in my sin nature on my way to hell and the pit and the lake of fire and all that. I am grateful to have a desire to obey because there was a time when I did not, so I thank Him that my conscience wasn’t seared. And also?
God’s about the business of resurrection. “Now unto Himself who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that works in us…“ you know what that power is? The Holy Spirit. You know where that Spirit emanates from? The MIND of Christ. What is the mind of Christ?
The more obedience to God’s will works in you? The more the exceeding and abundant blessing is activated.
And that’s that on that. God’s mercy endures forever, and His grace is sufficient, and He restores that which is lost by the blood of Christ. It’s literally already prepared on the other side of the cross we all must bear. But the only way to see it—to see Jesus in the land of the living is to walk in obedience unto death…even unto the death of the cross. It is in that death that the eyes of your understanding are opened to see the way forward to the manifest blessing of God through Christ.