..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

God Meets Us In The Wreckage

It suddenly occurred to me this morning that while we are trying to meet God in the one halfway decent (in our estimation) inch of ourselves that we deem presentable, that God always seems to choose to meet us in the place that is hopelessly disfigured, dark and demon-filled. As we read through the Scriptures it is always God coming to us at the point of our need, loss, and failure, holding out restoration and salvation to us in His outstretched, humble yet decisively all powerful Hand.

Peter's darkest hour was denying Christ. Yet, at the very
time of the denial, Christ is on His way preparing what
is needed not only for Peter's restoration but for the
restoration of the whole world. Hallelujah! Peter, in a
fearful fog of self-preservation, is bitterly startled back
into reality by the crowing of the rooster.

Morning was about to dawn in Peter's life. The
Morningstar was rising and coming to get Him. When
Jesus re-appears on earth after His death, He makes
a bee-line for Peter to set him firmly on the right path.
Peter would be restored and go on to be all that God
meant him to be.

You see, the gospel is really all about our total surrender
into the wild liberty of enslaving love to Christ. Yet we
become slaves to Him with no strings attached and only
the power of Everlasting Love keeping us close. It is a
liberty and wholeness we have never known and can
not imagine with our natural mind.

We think that we must get ourselves in shape before
God can use us. We believe we must try harder. If
there is something really wrecked inside, we must
hide it. God says, "When you have reached the end
of yourself, I will be there to talk about My kind
of kingdom."

The problem, from our side, is that reaching the end of
ourselves usually involves crashing and burning in some
major spiritual, social, psychological or emotional way.
We don't stop ourselves until something stops us. God
meets us at the point of our blindness and error. He
meets us at a place where we cannot help ourselves.

Why? He really, really loves us. He doesn't want to just
help us live our life, wants to BE our life. He wants to
be our everything. He does not want us to rely on
ourselves. He wants relationship with us. "Who
is this that comes up from the wilderness,
upon her beloved?
Song of Songs 8:5). It is always out
of the wilderness that we learn to so lean and do it
with gladness.

God will come after each of us at our greatest point of
need. Straight to the disaster He heads! And if we
manage to hide the disaster, He will still come. We
do not understand the ferocity of God's love for us,
and what He is willing to allow or us to come to know
Him in liberty.

Ted Haggard did not know the lengths and depths of
this ferocious Love. But before you cast a stone, neither
do you. Neither do I. Not completely, maybe not at
all. He allows the circumstances of life to bring us from
a place of absolute weakness, to a place of absolute

This surrender is not a slavish violation of liberty, but
a magnificent entrance into the liberty that is
apportioned to God's sons and daughters. Too bad
it takes such drastic measures to get us there. But once
we are there we could easily spend eternity worshipping
God and giving Him thanks for it. Too bad we initially
view it as a hostile invasion. It wastes so much time.

God is not looking for forced submission. He is looking
for eager pursuers of Himself. He is waiting to be
known for who He is. May that journey start afresh
and anew for each us, and may our prayers be with
our fallen brother who has the chance to come to an
utter and happy leaning on God and restoration that

1 comment:

more cows than people said...

what a powerful post... thank you.

glad to find you through your comment on my blog. as you identify as a fellow northeasterner i find myself hoping you're somewhere near me. i was just praying/musing today about the need/desire for a truly gifted spiritual director. i'm off to check your profile more carefully to see if we might be anywhere near one another...