Last Saturday I was driving down the road, heading home from the grocery store, listening to “My Lighthouse” by Rend Collective Experiment. I was jamming out like a Mom…you know, banging on the steering wheel and clapping my hands, displaying behaviors that mortify my adult children. I was basking in His love for me and for all of us. I was still living in the afterglow of the healing I’d witnessed earlier in the week. My friend and my daughter both invited me into their pain and vulnerability and allowed me to pray with them. What unfolded is nothing short of miraculous. I was reminded that Jesus heals. When we face our fears and take one step toward Him, Jesus takes ten giant steps toward us. He’s right there with open arms and an open smile, ready to heal our open hearts. It takes courage for us humans to feel the pain that propels us toward Jesus, but the risk is always worth it. Always. He gives us more than we could ever imagine. All we want is for the pain to stop. And He does that. But He also shows us the truth of who we are in Him. He gives us a new name and a new identity that we can hold onto in a tangible way. He removes the pain and fills us to overflowing with His goodness. While praying with my friend on Monday and my daughter on Friday, I was awed by how intimately He knows them (and each one of us). Jesus spoke to those girls in a way that must have left no doubt in their minds about His love for them. He truly knows everything about them and therefore, approached them in a way that spoke miracles.
Back to me, driving along…I was riding behind a dump truck that was open on top, brimming with imagined rocks just waiting to fall out, bounce off the road and hit my windshield. I’d seen his kind before and my windshield bore the scars and cracks. I didn’t want to get yet another rock hole, so I was keeping my distance. But it was annoying to ride just a little under the speed limit and I didn’t want to speed up enough to pass him on the two-lane highway. Mind you, these thoughts were only semi-conscious because I was jamming out to Rend Collective Experiment, foot-stomping and steering wheel slapping, singing loudly for God to hear. And then this thought came to me: “It’s already broken. My windshield already has multiple cracks in it.” I felt relief. The kind of relief that says, “Bring it on, big rock-filled dump truck! Whatcha gonna do to me?”
Then God gave me this thought: “I’M ALREADY BROKEN.” I have been bumped and bruised and cracked by life. And guess what? God has used all of it. He doesn’t allow me to feel pain and just leave me there. He gives me opportunities to offer my pain to Him, be healed, and He propels me forward to point others toward Him. So here’s where that leaves me: There’s nothing to fear. NO THING to fear. I’ve learned that I can do hard, and I can do painful because God always always redeems it. That redemption may not come in my timing, but it always comes in His perfect timing.
Are more hard times coming my way? Yep. Will I resist them? Yep. Will I want to run away to avoid the pain, and keep my distance from God the way I kept my distance from that dump truck? Yep. And yet God is there, knowing my tendency to run from Him instead of to Him. He’s not even mad at me about it. He waits patiently until I remember My First Love and fall into His arms. He heals me, refreshes me, and makes me new. I have nothing to fear but the fear of returning to Him.