God is dealing with me raw. I’m unsure of what prompted this change of behavior or disposition. It could be my relentless desire to have things in what I may term my organized chaos. Nevertheless this declaration emerged through a conversation with God with me asking or rather begging the question, “How long?” Have you ever dared to ask that of God? I have been so ready to move on to the next season, whatever that may entail, that I’ve not adequately prepared myself for the response in the current season. A close sister in Christ shared that I’m going to have to just walk some things out. I listened to her words, but I did not desire the reality of her words. Not shortly thereafter, God affirmed the sentiment and said, “I’m just giving it to you straight.” What happens when what your deepest desire is not honored by God?
To be sure, there are many scriptures about vision (Habakkuk 2:2-3), about hope (Psalm 42:11), about future (Jeremiah 29:11). However the scriptures for our present time, feel less than aspirational. Romans 8:18 reads, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This is my reference. I am not necessarily desiring my “present time” and God basically said, “I don’t care!” He is loving. More than anyone or anything I shall ever know. Yet, He is orchestrating the glory which shall be revealed, in the timing that He determines reasonable. And that my friends doesn’t make me see unicorns and rainbows; more like serpents and storms. There is no washing down of sorts for that which is bitter. Yet, the Word of the Lord declares that the chastisement of my peace was upon Him (Isaiah 53:5). What therefore did Jesus the Christ endure on our behalf just so that we could have life and avoid paying for the sin we elect? Further, albeit Jesus’ absolution of our sin doesn’t result in our avoidance of situations that require our utmost reliance upon the one who overcame death for our life.
Could it be that the chaser remains available to us? The bitterness of life is surely grounded in the sweetness of Christ. When overwhelmed and in those moments that feel relentlessly raw, God remains nigh. Psalm 34:18 declares, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Even in times of difficulty, God steals away moments with us to make us smile and remind us that we are not in this alone. Most recently, I was using an apple slicer for a rather large Honey Crisp (#yum) apple. As I pressed down as hard as I could, the apple wouldn’t budge. I attempted a second time, lifting on my toes, pressing as hard as I could, and the apple responded to being sliced, but not without a splash of apple residue going straight inside of my eye. Immediately I heard the Holy Spirit say, “And even with all you feel like you’re going through, you are still the apple of my eye.” I began to laugh aloud, and receive the assurance of Psalm 17:8, which concurs, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Even amidst turmoil and disappointments, heaviness in the spirit and tribulations, we are still positioned lovingly in Christ and protected. That my sisters and brothers in the struggle, is as beautifully, and crookedly straight as one may imagine. Assume the chaser. After all, it’s for you.