It’s been a while since I last put quill to parchment. Truth be told, almost immediately after my previous post on rest , life got messy…uber messy. This post is raw and vulnerable, as it still resonates deeply within me.
The True Gospel awakens us to what has already been accomplished in Christ Jesus and we are learning to walk, talk, think and see in an entirely new reality altogether. This can create an apparent disharmony between what we experience of life and the Truth we know. A beautful paradox.
A stunning mystery.
Without giving too much away, we had been given notice that our landlord was selling up, and we had to find another home quickly, for myself, my wonderful wife, three amazing teens, two adorable toddlers and a cockapoo! Oh, and my woodwork shop, a tramploine, a toaster and some wooly socks. No problem!
Except, no one seemed to want us. ‘A dog? Nope, sorry’. ‘Not enough income, chum! Byeee!’ We tried smaller homes, determined to downsize dramatically to squeeze, uh, I mean fit, into some tent…somewhere. Anywhere! We encountered closed door after slammed door and negotiated with people who were, as yet, unawakened to their wonderful union in Christ, if I may put it that way.
As I write, we are way beyond our deadline to move and I can admit I have indeed had stressful moments and thrown my toys, not just out of the crib, but out the window! Actually, through it!
My experiences were simply not lining up with all I know of Dad. Where was the breakthrough? The favour? The appointed blessing? The drawer for my socks? You ever been there?
Well, on Easter Monday, Father left a gift for me on the garden steps! Nope, not a white Creme Egg, but a nestling. A house sparrow but a few days old. No strength to walk, no feathers to ruffle, eyes still shut, stumbling blindly and totally scared out of its wee mind. Alone. Homeless. Orphaned. Or so it thought. It had survived a 15 foot drop from its nest, a crawl across the patio, down the grass and onto the hot, concrete step. It was hungry, scared and extremely vulnerable.
Now, before you jump in with both feet, my revelation was not that this wee nestling was me or a picture of me. It was, however, more importantly, a picture of my perception of me in the circumstances I was in. An unexpected gift to unwrap!
If I care for this little sparrow, how much more does my Father care for me (Mth. 7:11; Mth. 10:29)? I know He wants my family to have a warm, safe home! My desire for one is His very desire. Regardless of my experience of having fallen out of a nest, and all the resulting feelings, emotions, theological challenges and unanswered questions, I can, and indeed must, rest in His unutterable Goodness. He is fully determined I am utterly persuaded and assured of His astounding Grace. Experiences that backup such revelation come later. Or maybe not. What if they never come? Does that alter His heart toward me? Does He suddenly become less than I know Him to be, simply because my experiences do not line up with all I know is True?
Our perspective of what is True, does not change that which is True. Truth does not depend on our agreeing with it to be True! We do not create Truth; we get to believe He who is Truth. Knowing such Truth liberates us. Our experiencing life is a subjective awareness of a greater and higher objective Reality. We are simply learning to awaken to it; walking with atrophied muscles after years of being in a comma; speaking after years of being dumb and laughing after years of being obsessed with self, hopeless and bored with religion.
We walk by faith not sight. “But I should be all warm and snuggy in my nest right now: safe, warm, well fed and watered! What the heck am I doing out on a hot concrete step stumbling in my own blindness?” Perhaps you ponder dreams and desires in your own heart and yet see contradictions in all that surrounds you and is presented to you? Maybe you have asked, “Where is Father in all this?”
Alas, life does not always look like we intend it to or would like it to. Our experiences may not always resonate with the Truth we know. To measure Father against our preconceived notions of who He must and should be for us, creates god in our image; “I will know You are good if it looks like this and if it arrives when I want.” Our faith becomes a work, for we think we can make it happen if our faith is strong enough. And if it does not happen as we perceive it should, then we condemn ourselves for our lack of apparent faith. Try harder next time…a cycle of despair! Is that trust? Is that being persuaded and assured of His goodness? Could it be that Trust flows from a rest that is the antithesis of our sense of timing or presentation? A childlike abandon to His Truth relinquishes our need to be in control and to master over the mystery, and leaves us in Peace and confidently expecting His Goodness. It’s His Faith we live by, not ours, just as we live in His Obedience, not our own.
Maybe, just maybe, I can learn to Trust Him simply because He is my loving Father. As Graham Cooke declares, “Father says it. I beleive it. That jolly well settles it!” No more trying to, or having to work it out.
Religion stifles and suffocates. When we think it is all up to us – to think right, to act right and to always exercise moral excellence and righteous judgement, we are someone who has determined to live life on their own, as if separate from God. There can be no rest in religion or legalism, for it is never finished. The Truth is, you are already Blessed. Our home is there; I know it. Circumstances are irrelevant…just opportunites to awaken to who we already are in Him.
Religion freezes your intuition, smothers your heartfelt desires and anaesthetises your heart to the sweet whispers of God. Fear paralyses us in moving forward, in case we make a mistake and are suddenly outside of His will. What we are really saying is that we want everything to be the way we think it should be, because if it did, then we would move forward. We think we know what is best for us. Me? I have no clue what’s best for me. Father does.
We can so easily operate out of an old dead, false identity and a blindness which was expertly displayed for us by Emmet, the hero in The Lego Movie (a brilliant analogy of Law and Grace by the way!)…
‘Tell me what to do and show me exactly how to do it!’ (my paraphrase)
So when it comes to making life decisions, like…oh, I don’t know, say…finding a home for your family, (or choosing a movie to watch or a coffee to buy), what can unfold with a legalistic mindset, is confusion and doublemindedness as we are almost immobilised in making any decision at all out of fear of getting it wrong. We want God’s will. We want His home for us. His cookie for us, His job for us, His plans to come to pass. Um, like any mistake we make will throw Him off balance and render the Cross as null and void? Mistakes are allowed! Maybe, just maybe God does not see them as mistakes…but Life! Maybe, we perceive them as mistakes because we feel we have thus fallen short of something we have to earn or prove!
We never earned it so we canny lose it! It’s Finished! And that includes your destiny and future for all Eternity! Moving forward is allowed. Trust is allowed. Rest is essential. It’s called learning. Awakening. It allows Grace and liberates you to explore His heart for you. You will be led by Peace…the Prince of Peace.
Rest assured, wee Nesty (cute name, eh?) was swiftly covered with shade and cared for by the children as I rang for advice. We delivered Nesty safely into the hands of a volunteer with the local Wildlife Trust and now wonder if it’s Nesty we see flying around the house.
Flying high and loving his freedom!
If you feel like you have fallen out of a nest, know, you will fly! You were made to.
As He is. Ger