Early in an authentic Christian walk, it’s all about relationship. A new knowledge and hope in the person of Jesus and the knowledge of how intimately and wholly we are known and loved fills our spirits with a light we never knew before. And so we want to tell everyone, and we do, spreading the good news wherever we go about His kindness, His mercy, and His open arms.
Later, as we walk further from shore and dive into the deep water of faith, we realize what Jesus had modeled for us from the beginning. The authentic Christian life is about death; dying to self and to our own will – and then, resurrection, an indwelling of God in us, guiding and directing our lives. It’s why Christians say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
Much of my writing reflects this deep water experience I’ve had for the last six years. In this time, I’ve been stretched and I’ve learned to float, swim, and occasionally walk on water. I’ve died to dreams, beliefs, expectations, a couple of friends, and my own will. I was gaining perspective, and even gratitude for the time that forced me closer to the heart of Jesus so I could more authentically proclaim Him. And proclaim Him I did, here in this space and while leading at church and in classrooms, in my local retreat house, in thought, word, and deed. I’ve started new initiatives and new invitations to the family of God. It felt like I had finally exhaled and in doing so, found the “work of my hands.” Psalm 90:17
But it seems I didn’t die quite enough. Not yet.
Just when it appeared as though I was finally emerging from this deep water experience onto solid ground, the floor fell from beneath my feet. This time the stakes are high, higher than they’ve ever been. And while the other occasions of floor-falling only felt like death; this one has the potential to really kill me. And maybe that’s the point.
The deeper we die, the more resurrection we’ll get. The more we suffer, the more valuable our testimony when restoration, redemption, and rejuvenation finally come. I’ve written that God is a God of ‘Re’ and I still believe it, still believe in the mechanism and pattern of winter turning to spring in nature and in our lives. But I’m at my limit here. I’m depleted. I can’t do winter anymore even though the snow and the wind are whipping around my windows and threatening to bury me here in my little house.
In a time like this, it’s almost impossible to pray. So I’ve asked others to lift up my hands like Moses, and they’re praying, probably, but it doesn’t feel like I’ll survive this time while I wait for the God of rescue and renewal, light and hope Who I so desperately need right this minute to appear and help His daughter who’s given absolutely everything she can.
So what happens now? A miracle, I hope. I hear they still happen sometimes. I’m reaching out my feeble hand for the hem of His garment and hoping it’s true.