"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Friday, March 2, 2012

Grace Triumphant: The tightrope

Peace for fear. That's what God promises. We give Him our anxiety, He gives us His peace.

I feel like God has led me out onto a tightrope across a deep gorge.
(Not entirely tight; it sways under my weight.) He promises to be with me and uphold me. Though I am scared of heights I have no doubts and little fear because I know Him. I know He loves me and I know He can be trusted. I take one step after another, carefully but confidently, keeping my eyes on Him. Step by step I follow and I am amazed that He is making the impossible possible.

In the middle of the rope--hundreds of feet long--over the deepest part of the gorge, He has me stop and tells me to lift one foot. I take a deep breath and obey. It's scary and I'm shaking--but I don't fall.

Then He tells me to raise that leg and grasp that foot with my hand. Terrified, I do. He is over me, under me, all around me. I am up in the heavenlies where He reigns and where the angels move freely. They surround us, brushing us gently with their wings. Friends, taking hits for us, are holding us up in prayer. A mighty crowd of witnesses, gone before, cheer us on. My terror gives way to exhilaration.

I feel chosen for a unique purpose--chosen, but expendable. God will protect me. They cannot hurt us. I think I know how this will turn out but I can't know for sure. And my falling from the tightropes may be part of His plan, a means to His end, which is bigger than I am, bigger than our church, bigger than Long Beach, as big as revival spreading across this nation, as Jerry and I walk our tightropes and other believers throughout America walk theirs.

It does not matter how this turns out for me. If I am understanding Him correctly, my obedience, like every individual obedience, will glorify Him and enable Him to do great things, things He could not do otherwise--because He has limited His power in relation to His creation to include, to be partially dependent on, our prayers and our submission. If I have misunderstood, if I am hanging out there in space on my own through my own presumption, I will fall. Yet He knows my heart and even if I am wrong, He can work around my disobedience and accomplish His good purposes in spite of me.

Because He is God and in the end, He wins--and that is all that matters.

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