It was a warm summer afternoon and I was taking a bike ride with my nephew along the river. Being the boy that he is, something caught his attention and he wanted to go explore, "stay close where I can see you", I called out as he made his way down the ravine to the water. I stayed up on the bridge, leaning up against the side of the rail and letting the sun warm my face when I heard the voice, as if Jesus Himself were standing before me.
“Will you follow me”?
“Yes”, I replied “yes".
I thought my moment was coming, He was going to break open the skies and send me to where no man has gone before, then came nothing, at least that is what it felt like. As a good friend once said, there are things growing right in front of us that we can’t see, either because God is not ready to let us see it yet or we are too close to the situation. I was still carrying the crosses of wounds from the past, wounds that had not healed properly. One by one He opened those ill healed wounds exposing the decay that was bubbling and breeding beneath the surface. He poked and prodded, scooping out the decay that was suffocating my spirit. Those wounds will always be a part of me, but I wasn't meant to carry the cross of them.
The cross of a learning disability
everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory whom I formed and made.
for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb.
The cross of a dysfunctional and abusive childhood
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.
1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
The cross of depression
2 Corinthians 4:16
For God, who said, "let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine on our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
The cross of rejection
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
I can do anything through him who gives me strength.
The cross of fear, anxiety, worry and discouragement.
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, whom shall I be afraid?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.
I don’t know what is up ahead. But I know that I know, that God saw it important enough to interrupt regular programming, plop me on the turntable of waiting while He removed the nails of the crosses that were driven so deeply into my flesh and soul, then stacked those crosses as far as the east is from the west.
We often think we are more ready than what we are, but we only see tiny threads of the full tapestry of God’s plan, He is the only One who knows what is up ahead, He knows the work that has to be done in us so the work He has planned can be done through us.
Every so often someone will ask me what I do all day, what have I been doing with my time off? Nothing much I would reply, because really in the physical world, besides working on outgrowing my jeans (I am working on fixing that little problem) I have been doing not a lot. But in hindsight, as I look back, I am not the same person I was a year ago, or even six months ago, there has been a lot going on, I just wasn’t able to see it yet.