There have been only a couple of times I have had words stir on my heart without rest or understanding & recently was one of them.
While I have known who Jesus is for my whole life, I didn't realize He was "mine" until I was twenty-two. For years I had lived on the borrowed understanding of His grace, love & mercy from my mom not quite understanding I could have something of my own with Him; not even knowing I was missing it until it became so real & personal that it changed my entire life. At fourteen He made it clear He was protecting me, covering me, & walking ahead of me but I was too injured & broken to know how to take Him in; He waited.
BE STILL; These words started circulating my existence in the every day a few months ago. I would feel them stir in me when I was frazzled, I'd scroll social media and the verse would appear multiple times a day, several times a week; BE STILL was permeating my vision.
There was an aspect of this message that I understood because of my relationship with Jesus, I was being asked to
- TRUST in Jesus
- WAIT on Him
- Be PATIENT
but I didn't know what I was being asked to be still for or why?
I thought I had it nailed, "Ok, God. I can do this with You. I know you're merciful & good. I know You make plans to prosper me. I know that what is meant for evil, You work for Your good. I know You have NEVER failed me, You have ALWAYS loved me & provided for me. I got this."
It became clear that the BE STILL was that our family's life was about to change.
Jesus was providing an opportunity for our family that we hadn't faced before. In 10 years we have experienced much job loss but never the opportunity to advance & choose to move into a new position because we were pursued, wanted, or needed.
It's here my relationship, my SELF, my FAITH was challenged.
I poured myself into bible journaling, podcasts, & the aggressive pursuit of His word in order to draw me closer to understanding what He wanted me to. I had all the tools in my faith-arsenal to BE STILL, trust & wait. I had the gumption to exercise ASKING Jesus for BIG, BOLD, UNBELIEVABLE things and TRUSTING He WOULD make them happen. My failure, as it turns out, wasn't in the the ask, however, it was in that I unknowingly said "in MY timing, EXACTLY as I'm asking."
I found myself crushed. More than that actually, I removed myself from that table with Jesus & I decided to lay face down on the couch giving Him the cold shoulder.
He asked me to wait LONGER than I had been prepared to. He had a plan that was BETTER than what I was asking for, yet, because I was so locked into MY specifics, I felt like the opportunity wasn't blessed or ordained. What I wanted was for it to be EASY, for the story to be a TESTIMONY & it seemed like it was just a test; a chance for me to eat a slice of humble faith pie.
It has been an incredibly overwhelming "moment" I've been having with God. Until this past Sunday, sitting at church, I couldn't let myself off the hook for my failure. While I KNEW God forgave me, I couldn't forgive myself. The enemy had me caught in my own net with lies on repeat: I failed my Father, & I embarrassed myself before Jesus.
But here's what TRUTH says:
- "You are God of forgiveness, always ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and full of love & mercy." Nehemiah 9:17
- "You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy." Micah 7:18
- "God is merciful & quick to forgive" Isaiah 55:7
I didn't FEEL forgiven & my guilt removed me from closeness with my Father. I cannot tell you how achingly lonely the prison has been. I couldn't unlock the gate. I stared off into the distance of something I knew I had but I wasn't released -- I was holding on but Jesus had already given me the freedom. God forgives immediately & completely.
BE STILL. I see the other side now. I didn't pass that test but it has become a new testimony.
**for a wonderful message called MERCY FORGIVES, click here**