I am not going to try and put together a witty introduction. I am simply going to praise God for Who He is and for His love toward the residents of Biddinger Boulevard. Our day yesterday and certainly our night held many more challenges than we planned . . .
The opportunities for refinement and increased faith we faced are not the point of this post – the intentional praise of my Father in Heaven and thanksgiving for the lengths He will go to just to shower me with affection are. . .
The night was long and we saw all but two hours of the entire 24 hours so we drove home from the ER exhausted but also marveling at the road in front in of us. I hate driving in the snow and had asked a friend to pray for my anxiety about navigating the way home because a snowstorm had been predicted to begin around midnight. And there we were headed home a little after 1:00 a.m. on dry ground – the prayers of a righteous woman several miles away from us had held the wind to the left and the snowflakes to the right. Brett held up his smart phone for me to see the weather image he had pulled up and it showed the snow pattern all around us, but there we were without a flake.
We still had much to do when we arrived home and these two older-than-they-used-to-be-folks were dragging. We walked into our empty house to find it full of love . . . the gift of soup in our fridge, the sweetness of wine and chocolate on our table and our answering machine blinking with concern. Our house was empty but we were not alone.
Our sleep was short but the day started with the assurance of His affection in the form of a tweet . . .
And facebook posts of thoughts and prayers . . .
And the notice of the blog that was trending here at Glimpsed Glory . . .
Consider our situation today nearly two years since that blog was posted . . . see how faithful God is in teaching, in developing, in pruning the character and the faith of His daughters and His sons. Brett and I read it together through tears. He doesn’t give up and He doesn’t let us settle. He is amazing and true to His word . . . The Holy Spirit truly did remind me of everything He had said that day . . .and it strengthened my heart, it girded my resolve.
And the exclamation point on the intentional praise that I needed to live in my heart and wear on my sleeve today had the familiar sweet ring of my Baby Girl . . .
Amen Sweet Girl! Amen! I will rejoice in the goodness of my God. I will pursue praise with zeal for His glory. And I will silence the voice of my enemies with the song of thankfulness in my heart. My God is faithful!
Our circumstances envelope us. They engulf us. They consume us. Too often my circumstances pull my actions and my attention to places I never intended to visit. I find myself in the middle of my own mind commotion solving issues, mulling conflicts, and traveling a general thought path that serves no one well. I’ve written some posts over the last year describing some of the circumstances that have occurred in life and I pray that I have highlighted the activity of the Extraordinary in the life of the very ordinary residents of Biddinger Boulevard.
If God’s drawn you to Glimpsed Glory on other occasions you know that my Man has been a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the nipple line down, for the last 20 years. And you also know that even though he’s been in that chair for all these years, in my eyes, he stands taller than any man I know.
For “his population” (a term we learned early in his rehabilitation which is never followed by what most would consider favorable statistics) his health has been good. He’s in constant pain that the doctor’s can’t pinpoint the source of because his spinal cord doesn’t transmit the pain signals the way it should anymore. He takes enough medicine to choke a horse on a daily basis to try and control a body that just won’t behave the way he wants it to. And the joints in his shoulders ache constantly from using them to walk. But for “his population” . . . .
And again, if God has drawn you to Glimpsed Glory before you are aware that my Man is my biggest protector and the Warrior on my Wall. He takes up the sword of God’s word and swings it with a surgeon’s precision in prayer every single day. Over and over and over again –every day—he takes up his position on that wall and he fights. I wrote these words about him during a hospital stay in March and they are every bit as true today.
That’s who my man is. Behind the spine that won’t cooperate with his brain anymore, past the legs that will not listen to the signal to move, beyond the hands that refuse to obey his command . . HE IS A WARRIOR. He is a protector. He is about the business of listening to the Commander and standing guard at the wall so that his family and friends can safely go to their own work. Every day, as surely as you rise from your bed and check off the tasks on your to-do-list, my man arises, grabs his sword and takes up his station. Oh how I praise God for the commitment He has given Brett to fight. (Warrior on My Wall, March 8)
God has truly raised Brett up to be a force for His Kingdom but that just wasn’t the way the whole thing began. We weren’t believers when Brett was injured. I have no doubt, Brett has no doubt, that the Hand and the Heart of God were definitely with us, but we were most certainly not with Him.
No, Sister, my Warrior and I did not begin this journey acknowledging Christ as our Comfort, our Sustainer, or our Friend. In fact, we began this journey by running from it. We ran as hard as we could to try and get away from the reality of it all. It was so much to take in without Jesus. Everything changed. Nothing was normal. We had no direction. . . . but we still ran.
It won’t serve you well or edify you in any way to share all the details of that time period, but this will encourage your heart.
No matter how hard we tried to escape our reality,
now matter how far we ran . . .
it was not further than the Heart of God was willing to go.
In all of our running, He was still pursuing us. He met me, He met Brett, knee deep in our circumstances. Some we had created ourselves and others we had not. Regardless of the origin of our situation, God appeared. He swooped down from heaven and He saved us. He intervened in ways that can only be described as miraculous because Girlfriend . . . that is what He does because that is Who He is. He is the God who does not change and the Savior who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Consider Hagar who reacted badly to a bad situation and ran from the reality of her circumstance.
And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. 5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her. Genesis 16:4-6
But she could not flee further than the Heart of God was willing to go.
The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. Genesis 16:7
Consider Moses who killed an Egyptian and he ran from the reality of his sin.
One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” 14 He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well. Exodus 2:11-15
But he could not outrun the Heart of God.
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. Exodus 3:1-2
And then there is Peter who denied the Messiah he professed to love and fled the courtyard filled with shame.
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75
But he could not flee the Love of Messiah.
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. John 21:1
From the Old Testament to the New, God’s children have been running from their realities, fleeing from their circumstances, only to find that His Heart willingly comes after them. And Sister, He does not change.
He will appear, He will find, He will speak to His children in the midst of it all and He will open our hearts so we can discern His Presence, hear His voice and truly see Him.
Hagar’s eyes were opened and she saw the One who sees her. Her heart was opened and she knew the One that fixed His Heart on her . . .
So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,”for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Genesis 16:13
Moses turned to see the fire of God and His ears were opened to His call. His heart was opened to respond “Here I am” to the Great I AM. . .
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:4
And Peter, who had gone out in disgrace, followed a heart that prompted him to run to Jesus. . . .
That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. John 21:7
And Beloved, when the Lord of Lord and King of Kings meets us where we are—no matter what has brought us there –and stirs our hearts toward Him, that’s when change takes place. When He reveals the Who of Him, when He allows us to glimpse His Glory, and when He peels back the veil so that we may see Him that, Dear One, is when change occurs . . .
not a change in our circumstance, a change in us.
Hagar saw the One who sees her and was directed back to her mistress. Moses heard the Voice from the flames and was told to return to Egypt. Peter ate with the Messiah and was told go “feed my sheep.”
Their circumstances were not changed but their hearts were.
Oh Beloved, this is my story. This is my Warrior’s story. As badly as he wanted to flee from his reality, as hard as he ran, He could not go further than the Heart of God was willing to go.
The Lord Himself jumped from the pages of His Word and opened the eyes of Brett’s heart to see Him. He did not heal Brett’s spinal cord, but He healed His heart. He did not restore his legs, but He restored His soul. He did not return Brett’s finger function, but He wrapped those hands that would not cooperate in the earthly realm tightly around that Warrior Sword for the heavenly battle. And he did not raise Brett up from that chair, but He did raise Him to life.
Brett’s circumstances did not, have not, changed . . . but he has. The one who ran from the Lord now stakes out His position on the wall and stands firm. The one who fled now fights. All because the One to whom the battle belongs revealed Himself as the Giver of Brett’s strength, his defense, and His salvation.
“The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name.
Do you see the Love of it all?
In His Sovereignty, He may or He may not remove us from our circumstances, only He knows what will serve the Kingdom plan best, but Sweet One whatever your reality is, however far you may have run, you can count on the Heart of God to come looking. And if He sends us back to our circumstance, we can be absolutely certain that we do not go alone nor do we return to simply “gut it out” in His Name. He did not save us and then leave us to hang on by our fingernails and grit our teeth until Glory. No Girlfriend.
If He sends us back, we return changed. We return more than conquerors. . . equipped for the battle . . . with His promises in our hands and His Glory at our backs. We return, from however far we ran, having been found by the Heart of the Living God, ready not only to survive, but dare I say, to thrive!
WE WILL PRAISE.
WE WILL REJOICE.
WE WILL THRIVE.
IN JESUS NAME