Getting Wise to Lies and Packing for Berakah…

sunset over ocean

 

Last week I wrote of TRUTH as the antidote.

Happily, through this scathing season the Lord’s opened my eyes to LIES. Tiny, subtle lies I buy all day long, that cause me to fumble, squandering sacred seconds. That distract me, putting space between myself and the freedom I so fiercely crave– the peace-filled life I so desperately desire to live. Lies like:

Leslie! Over here!! This needs doing NOW!

 Or, Come on! You have time to fit this in!

 Or, Come attend to ME! You’ll have time for that later!

 The good, good news is, I’m getting better at picking them off, tossing them where they belong—back in the lie slinger’s face. And staying the confident course, eyes fixed heavenward, on Almighty assignment.

Truth is always the way to abundance.

Here’s the truth I’m hanging my hopes on in 2016, running towards and wholeheartedly desiring with all of me—the Scripture I recorded most ardently in my journal on January 1:

 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:23-25 (NIV)

Freedom is what I’m after. No matter the cost. And so I’ve been pleading with the Lord to strip me of anything that’s hindering my progress. To root out the nasties, keeping me from slipping out of time’s entanglements and advancing unfettered. To help me become an intent looker. A continuer. A DOER.

Lasting change—it comes at a cost; never won without a struggle. And this season of confidence carnage at time’s merciless hands—it’s been messy. Unsightly at times. In the face of repeated failure to manage my moments, then bits of progress, only to be followed by disheartening regression, there’s been weeping. Fasting. Gnashing of teeth on several occasions (not really, but I’m sucker for a vivid picture! Ha!)

There have been two rock bottom, face-to-the-floor, ugly cry sessions, pleading the above verse over my life; my pitiful plight. And my faithful Father’s endured it all alongside me; His heart bleeding out next to mine.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15

 …All I can say is Love. I just adore this blessed reality. He walks through it all with us, unfailingly. Faithfully to the bitter end of ourselves, where He throws Almighty arms around us, and freedom’s floodgates open. (Having a moment here—feel free to join me.)

During one of these bottom-dwelling episodes, acquainting myself with the carpet as I wept amongst my own ashes, the Deliverer set my new theme song rushing over my battered heart like many mighty waves:

“You have given us a new name!” –Steven Curtis Chapman, “Amen”

 And along with it, this thunderous reminder in my spirit’s depths:

“Now ACT LIKE IT!”

“It” being VICTORIOUS.

“It” being the continuer, the doer He empowers me to be.

I wrote this in my journal right after the aforementioned amazingness:

How is it possible, to simultaneously feel so low–so desperately broken—and yet have such JOY?!?!? To be hearing from God, directing me in my dejection; breathing/speaking LIFE into me, so low?

The Valley of Berakah awaits…on the other side of this mountainous struggle. I’m almost through. I just know.

The other day (#2 spent at rock bottom to be exact), my friend Meghan illuminated this valley’s Biblical bearing for me in 2 Chronicles 20, a glimmer of hope, beckoning to me through my defeated fog. Jehosophat learns a “vast army” is headed for him and Judah. “Alarmed”, he gets right down to business, dropping to his knees to “inquire of the Lord”, and rallying his people to do the same.

Once gathered together (the communal trepidation palatable, I imagine), he directs their gaze heavenward by rehearsing God’s greatness: “Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (v. 6) And then, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. And the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.” (v. 12-13)

(Again, LOVE. This picture—it undoes me.)

 Then, my favorite:

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…” (v. 15-17)

 At this, Jehosophat and all of Judah “…bowed down” (in the face of imminent danger/devastation, mind you) “in worship before the Lord.” (v. 18)

 (Oh, that my response would even slightly resemble that of these brave ones…)

 Once VICTORIOUS (because we ALL knew how this story was going to end…), the people gathered in the glorious Valley of Berakah, “where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day.” (v. 26)

The battle was won through praise. That’s how great our God is—the Creator, the Giver of TIME, and my Almighty Deliverer…PRAISE THE LORD.

 …Wish you were here—the weather is beautiful in Berakah…

…Be there soon…(!!!)

 

{Stay tuned for the conclusion of Making Peace With Time…}


peace with time

{Making Peace With Time is a blog series chronicling my struggle to harness and live peaceably with time, finding the blessing in all of it. Time, it’s a gift from above…may its Creator use this journey to wash my eyes, that at the end, I might behold it as such, victorious over my ticking captor…}

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