It was one of those long summer nights. The kind where the sun seems to follow you on your drive home with the windows down and the sun roof open.
We had a great weekend. It had all the right ingredients for a home-run weekend…..friends, church, relaxing and a little shopping. It was on point.
That long summer night came as a sweet reminder that while I’ve been trying so hard to ‘find myself’ or my calling or my whatever….that God has remained faithfully present. He’s the one that tells me my name for the 100th time when I forget who he says I am. He speaks words like forgiven and redeemed and rescued over my head as blessings and promises.
I’ve realized that He knows my name but I also know His. And His is unchanged and steadfast and cemented into the history of our earth. The signs of His name are everywhere. The air that rushes over my hair with the windows down is Him. Just like the sun shine that warms my body to my bones…All Him.
Our lives are not part of God’s experiment. He’s not on a probationary period from His boss. He’s not just figuring this stuff out. He’s not trying to balance the universe the way a Harlem Globetrotter does. (No offense, they are very impressive)
He is fully in control and fully present at all time. Even when I’m asking him who I am..again. He’s there. And he’s as present as the wind in my hair with my windows down on a warm summer evening.
When my husband travels for work I dread the darkness of night. I’ve gotten much better over the years since he’s been doing it for so long but every once and awhile I listen to that voice of fear and it can overwhelm me if I back off for one second.
I’m never as hopeful for the sunrise as I am around 3am when I’ve woken up with the babies and I can’t get back to sleep. I cling to the promise of the sun. The light forthcoming. The end to the consuming and deafening darkness. It’s a beautiful thing when I open my eyelids to see rays of glory filled sunshine bursting through my 1940’s cottage windows. It feels like the rays are dripping with gratitude. As though all the earth is so thankful that the sun came out again, as well. For a moment, I’m united with the earth in singing His glory.
To think that there are nights that are longer than others is a distinct parallel to our lives. Sometimes the darkness feels like it’s going to overwhelm us. And others we can just watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians to keep our mind off of being scared. (I’m just hypothesizing here.)
No matter the length of the night, the morning always comes. Always. It is not bound by time but rather by the parameters of planet motion and heaven’s willingness to explode the earth with His glorious goodness once more. In the light.
Our Lord is good. And lovely. And He is sunshine that drips with fresh beauty. And a warrior to push back the darkness once more so that all of the world might know His name.
Everyone talks about it. Why do some people have it and others don’t? Is it a moving target? Does it look different in various seasons of life or does it always maintain the same characteristics? Why does it inspire us in some personalities and others make our stomachs turn? Why are there some people that wear it well and others nauseate us? How do we not become the latter? How can we, as believers, have a spirit of humility and still not look like a door mat? Is it possible to learn how to be sure of ourselves and even more confident in Christ’s work on the cross for us yet not be showy and performance based?
My goodness, do I hope so!
I’ll be honest with you…. I love to see a confident woman in action. Sadly, it’s about as common as a white Bengal tiger. Why? Why is that? As a Christ follower, we should have the confidence to take the industries (Proverbs 31:31), to work hard at our jobs, be diligent in our homes and bring good to our husbands (Proverbs 31:12). Yet we (read: I) sit at home and twiddle our thumbs and wonder when we will be good enough to actually do the thing we know he’s called us to do. Not what he’s called our best friend to do, but what he’s called US to do. And that thing is what he created us to do. And no one else can do it with the us-ness that we would do it. That’s why God asks us to complete it.
Knees bent, arms raised and heads lowered is where we find confidence. That’s where we find our center. Our calling. That’s where we come off the endangered species list and start to live so that we can thrive. Not just inch by. That’s what worms do. Believers should be the nicest, kindest, most honest people you’ve ever met and the only way to accomplish those things is hit the floor.
In finding our center through prayer and thanksgiving we also find ourselves. Our truest selves. The version of ourselves that is raw and unguarded before our mighty King that protects and serves us and is GOOD TO US. Those moments when our knees won’t seem to bend and our voices are hoarse from crying and searching other places is exactly the place we need to stop doing and start thanking.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5: 1-2
The grace in which we stand: Tall. Confident. Assured. Made complete. Lacking nothing.