a chance for redemption
This past weekend I got to go to my spot. The spot where the world seems silent and all I can hear is His gentle voice.
It’s been a place of refuge for me for so many years. I can think of countless moments in my life where I have felt helpless and the only thing I could think to do was head to my spot, so I could meet with my Father. Rest in His arms. Hear His gentle whispers. Be filled with His peace.
See, up at my spot, there are no distractions. Only mountains that extend forever and remind me of His power and His sovereignty. At my spot, I am both reminded of my weakness, but also the strength He equips me with. Up there every voice is silenced other than His. Every worry seems small. Every fear becomes powerless.
I have wrestled with my Father up there. I have cried out to Him for answers. I have begged Him for guidance. And every time, He comes through. He comes through because He’s always there. Always present. Always faithful. And never fails His children.
I have sat in the same spot for years and looked at the same mountains, but somehow it never gets old. They never lose their grandeur and I never cease to be amazed by them. One of my favorite sections is a part of the mountains that were burned during the wildfire many years ago. These mountains were burned to the core. They were stripped of everything and left with nothing but ashes.
This is exactly how I have felt these last few months. Like I have been burned to the core. Stripped of so many things I thought I knew. I now feel completely naked. Fully exposed. Beat up and tired.
It’s exhausting. It’s defeating. It’s scary to be in a place where you are reminded of your humanness and deep need for Someone else to carry you. It is hard when you come face to face with the reality that life will hurt, it will be confusing, and it will not go as you had planned.
Yet, at the same time I am feeling all of those things, I feel like I am standing stronger than ever.
You see, these last few months my Father has taken so many things that I thought I knew to be true, things that I was finding safety in, things that are no longer for me...and He took them from me. In the most loving way possible He broke down walls and barriers inside my heart that I didn’t even know existed. He revealed to me a part of my heart I didn’t even know was there. He has planted dreams in my heart and shredded my plans for the future. He has left me completely vulnerable, entirely bare, and fully surrendered.
These mountains lost all of their trees. Before the fire, they were full of them. But now that the trees are gone, you can see so much more. You can see every crevice and every hill. You can see the charred wood. You can see the evidence of the disaster that took place. You can see the story of the mountain etched into every little detail.
My heart is no different. There is this freedom I now feel. Like the chains that had once been holding me back are no longer there. All sense of control has been lost and I’ve simply given it all to Him knowing He will do great things. When I take a look at my heart, I can now see so much more of my story and who I am. My desire for perfection. My obsession with control. My need to know it all. All of those things have been burned and rid of. The story of what He has done in me and through me is etched all over my heart and if you look close enough, you can see the details of it all. Real hopes and dreams revealed. Fears vanished. Newness awakening.
While I have experienced so much transformation in these last few months, it is a daily choice I must make to wake up and choose to let Him do a work in me. Some days it’s easier than others. At times I feel a lightness to my step like never before and surrendering comes easy. Other days though, it’s a struggle to sit down and feel His peace. It takes work and dedication. It is a never ending process of laying it all at His feet and saying, “Here I am Father. Here’s all of me. Use me. Mold me. Transform me.”
My favorite part of these mountains is the new growth you can see. Because of its bare state, the baby pine tree that stands one foot tall is seen and celebrated. Eventually, the new growth spreads and something healthier and stronger is created.
It is the same with my heart. Without all the lies and idols, I can now see the newness He is awakening in me. The things He is growing. The dreams He is planting.
Rather than a heart covered and overwhelmed with my expectations, my desires, my plans, my fears, my cares, and my needs, I now have a heart fully exposed. Completely naked. Utterly vulnerable. Sprouting with new growth. I have a heart that tells a story of His redemption for me.
I believe that right now, this redemption is also happening within our world.
As a society we had ourselves completely covered up and overwhelmed. Our schedules were full. We spent more time at work than with our family. We swept problems we were having with our marriage under the rug. Our financial choices were selfish and unwise. We sought experiences to capture and compare rather than seeking conversations and time with the people we loved most. We took for granted the opportunities that surrounded us and the ability to live freely. We forgot that going to school was a gift. We began to lose sight in the power of a hug. We talked to our Father when it was convenient and served His people when it seemed easy. We chose to care about ourselves and ignore the power of helping others. We as a society created a culture that left no room for new growth. We suffocated ourselves. We were unwilling to shift our focus and unwilling to be better.
And now here we are. Completely naked. Fully exposed. Helpless. Desperate. Beat up and tired.
We are finally stripped of all that has held us back.
And now, we have a chance for new growth. We have a chance for redemption. We have a chance to come out stronger. To come out better. To come out more beautiful than ever before.
Maybe, just maybe, this was the wake up call we needed. We might have ignored the voice of God before. But now, we have no reason but to listen.
So, let’s rise up and be better because of this. Because He was not surprised by any of this. He still reigns as King. He is still all-powerful. He is still victorious.
We were a society who refused to rest and we are now being forced to rest. To be still before Him.
What will we do with that rest and stillness? What will you do?
Will we allow Him to work in us and through us? We will face our problems head on and decide to invite Him in to bring redemption and healing to situations? Will we ask Him who we can serve and how we can love those who need it most? Will we choose to rest in His promises or allow the fear and unknown to rattle us to our core?
Never again will we experience a time like this.
We have been stripped down. We are exposed. We are vulnerable.
Will new growth sprout from us? Will we come up healthier and stronger than ever? Will we allow Him to do a miracle in our society like never before?
I urge you…do not let this season pass you by. Fall to your knees. Cry out for Him. Ask Him to do a work in you. To heal what is broken. To redeem what has been lost. To equip you to serve and love His people like never before.
I pray that years and decades later we look back at 2020 and are reminded of the miracle He performed in our nation and our world. That we will remember 2020 as the year we were awakened, renewed, and transformed. That we will look back and know that we did not let this season pass us by, but instead that we pressed into this season and came out looking more like Him.
All my love,