47 Weeks Past the Cross
By Terri C
As I sit and reflect this morning on the magnitude of The Almighty’s love for those who love Him, I am amazed anew. I say anew because we can forget to be amazed on a regular basis, can’t we? When He provides a meal for us, for example, when it seemed like there wouldn’t be one, we are amazed. Yet once the difficult circumstance passes and we’re back to three meals a day with snacks between, we can forget to be amazed by His provision! I caught myself saying a blessing after mealtime the other day out of habit, but not from a place of amazement. We were in a hurry and grabbed something quick and ate it quickly, instead of savoring the flavor and benefits of our meal. My blessing was the same. Quick, without savoring. Although I credited God for being my sustenance, my blessing was only words, hence only mouth-deep. I caught it and brought it in prayer to my Creator later that night. Turns out, He’s not surprised by my human attention span and my tendency to forget how amazing every moment of being alive is. He doesn’t want me to forget, though. God reminded me during that prayer time that He created us joyful. The capacity we have to be amazed is part of that joy. Truly, it’s our loss if we grow complacent in our amazement. We bind our spiritual feet when they should be skipping and dancing along the path that is our life! Here on the cusp of my eleventh month since walking past the cross, complacency could slip in, but only if I let it. I’ve got my “new” routine, my “new” way to pray and my “new” way to walk, all of which aren’t very “new” at eleven months! It will be up to me to keep them fresh and shiny, and not let them slip into a place of rote routine, without spiritual involvement and connection. How sad it would be to come this far and stop! How sad it would be to live life without truly seeing the amazing things that have to come together for me to even be alive on this day! God did that, He put all those things together. God does that. On a morning when many didn’t wake up here in this world, I did. This fact alone should have me singing heartfelt praises everyday. It should have you singing, too! Although to have my spirit be with Him instead of in this bag of flesh would be the supreme life, to be here gives me the chance to mature and to perfect my walk according to His instructions, the Torah. Being here means I can do what He calls His children to do: be light in a dark world.
And so, even with my physical ailments and my current grocery budget, I am practicing not being complacent in my gratitude for these provisions. I’m finding that the more grateful I am, the better my food seems to taste, and the more satisfying it is to my appetite. The more I am thankful for the physical feats I CAN accomplish, the easier they become to accomplish, and the more I can do! My hip hurting may not be a miracle, but the fact that it still functions exactly enough to accomplish my day is! Since walking away from “Messianic” Christianity, not only has God become bigger and more real to me, my spirit has too! My walk with Him is SO much different than it was before! The spiritual connection to YHVH is always available to us, but it is certainly on us to stay connected! We stay connected through Scripture study and prayer and from not growing complacent in our amazement. We can fill our eyes and ears with things about Him, and we can speak lots of words about Him, but until our spirit is touched and moved by our eyes, ears and mouth, our walk with Him is in shallow water. Make no mistake, He’ll take us as deep as we want to go!
~When you seek Me with all of your heart, you will find Me~
We become complacent and float back into shallow waters when we cease to see the wonder and glory that is all around us every day. Complacency can grow in seasons of steady paychecks and good times. We might get to thinking that we’re taking care of business, that we’re seeing the fruits of our own success, that we are in control. I’m so thankful He sends us those seasons that remind us we are ever dependant on Him! We’re in control of nothing but our will, and our decision to get in covenant with our Creator! Here on this side of the cross, I am seeing where everything that comes my way is part of a bigger process that I do not yet understand. The good and the bad in my life are both worthy reasons for me to be thankful! Of course, one takes more practice at gratitude than the other, but maybe that’s the point.
As my one year anniversary draws near, I am prompted to contemplate how much my spiritual walk has changed in this past year. It’s been so much more than giving up the concept of someone else paying my own sin debt! (although that’s all I’d thought it was going to be) All of the bits and pieces are starting to come together, and they are forming a bigger picture than I had ever dreamed imaginable when I thought I had the “God formula” all figured out! Oh, what I thought I knew then, LOL! I know now that I have so much to learn! At first when I walked away from the cross, it felt a bit like I was dangling in the wind. I remember thinking “Now what?” Then I found out! So much information to unlearn. So much information to learn anew, through a new lens! This teacher says this, and that one says that. A girl’s head could spin! Finally I said, “Enough! I only care what YHVH said!” From there, He began to bring me through this first year of new knowledge one step at a time. Like a ladder. I’m thinking that as long as I continue to awaken in this world, there will always be another rung above me, and an invitation from my Creator to go deeper into His Way, His Truth and the Life He gives. May I never approach either with complacency! That’s my prayer for you, Dear Reader, as well!
I have one more thing to mention before I hit the “post” button at the top of my page. I’ve not been remiss to share my struggles with you from the beginning of my journey. If you’ve been following along in my first year past the cross, you know that I’ve had some real relationship challenges! I’ve lost some friends and family over my decision, and seem to have made a whole new group of enemies I hadn’t even anticipated! As my first year mark approaches, though, I am learning that God places people in my path for a reason or a season. I don’t want to become complacent regarding who He sends and who He removes, and neither should you! I’m learning that is is us who attaches the value to another in our life. If we get out of balance, it could be easy to raise someone to the level of an idol for us. On the other side of that coin, we could be tempted to raise ourselves above them, another mistake. We have to learn to appreciate who’s put on our path for whatever they bring into our life. Sometimes it’s a blessin’ and sometimes it’s a lesson, but both are from God above us. When it’s time to let go, we must do it with grace and Shalom. We can trust that God grants restoration, let’s also trust that He knows with whom it should or shouldn’t occur. In the event of death, the toughest of all losses and letting go, we can still trust God with the reasons we were given that person for the season we had them. Furthermore, we can trust that God still expects us to chose life, and to allow ourselves to move beyond our grief and take hold of the ladder rung just above where we are in Him today. Let’s pay close attention to who is placed in our path, and appreciate what they have to teach us. And let’s not be remiss to be thankful to the One who “provided” them to us!
I hope you will allow yourself to be amazed anew today, and that you’ll find the connection between amazement and your joy!
A reminder to the reader:
If you have recently walked past the cross, or have question marks jotted in the margins of your “new testament” like I did for so long (I don’t now!) I would encourage you to reach out to someone who’s “been there”. I know you’ve been told not to question doctrine, or to take belief in Jesus “on faith” but our God is clear and concise. We may not understand His level of thinking, but His motive is NEVER to confuse us or trick us. He wants us to know His truth! His Torah spells it out. There’s no “just believe!” and no “take it on faith!” Knowing that the end was established from the beginning, doesn’t it make sense that if things aren’t “adding up”, the beginning (Torah) is exactly where you should be looking for answers? They’re in there, I promise!
“See you next time! Until then, seek YHVH with all your heart!
Then, you’ll find Him.