Thursday, July 6, 2017

When the Student is Ready

If someone had told me 6-9 months ago what I just found out today, I would have scoffed at their suggestion, probably been highly irritated, and most likely would have ignored them for the foreseeable future. Thankfully God was gracious enough to close the mouths of those around me because I kind of like a lot of people.

I finally finished the Rebekah Lyons series on Rhythms of Grace. The series is primarily on rest with a heavy dose of abiding in Jesus. Abiding is one of those churchy words that we know means to remain in Jesus, but I'm not sure how many of us could truly describe what that looks like in reality. She does a fantastic job of not only explaining it but helping you understand it is probably the best thing you can experience this side of heaven.


While it's easy to understand the concept of rest when things are good or slow or non-chaotic, she talked about what it's like to experience rest when 'all hell is breaking loose'. This of course intriqued me greatly. Not because my life is a series of unfortunate events by any means, but because of the struggles I have had particularly in regards to my feeling emotionally detatched in so many ways. So she essentially asked Jesus how she could know that he would come to her rescue immediately when something really awful were happening.

Now, she quoted Psalm 18 where David was crying out to the Lord and he rescued him. And she quoted Paul in Romans who tells us to call on the name of the Lord and we will be saved. But then she quoted Jesus is John 14 which I was totally not expecting. At all.

In John 14:26, Jesus tells the disciples, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you." My jaw hit the table.

I don't know how many times I've talked about my struggle with Scripture coating my wounds and not dealing with my feelings on this blog or at Bible study. But......

What if I really did hide God's word in my heart so that I would not sin against him?
What if his word really is good for teaching, correcting, and rebuking?
What if his word really does accomplish the purpose for which he sent it?
What if this was his reminding me what I knew so that I could ask for wisdom?
What if this was his way of reminding me to call out so he could tell me great and unsearchable things?
What if this was his way of saying that he would reveal some things to me and keep others secret?
And what if, every time one of those band-aids popped up, the Holy Spirit was reminding me of everything Jesus had taught me up to that point so that I could....take a step back, remove the plank from my own eye, pray about what had happened asking for a change in perspective, and Jesus was reminding me to abide in him, trusting that he had it all under control?

I knew that verse. I knew it. But never once, in a million years did it cross my mind as I have struggled through this. Why? Because God knew I wasn't ready for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He waited until he knew that I was so thirsty for him that I would recognize this as the tall drink of water I have desperately been seeking. And as I think of all that I have read in the last (almost) year since this started and I am completely amazed at the ground work he laid before today.

So what does this mean from this day forward? It means that when something happens and a Scripture comes to mind, I am not going to ignore my feelings, but pray through them with whatever lifeline Jesus just tossed my way. It means that I am not going to run from the hard things and try to bury them, but rather let him have his way in my heart so that no bitter root has a chance to grow up and defile many. It means that I am no longer going to let Satan get a foothold in my mind or heart by letting the sun set on my anger. And it means that I am going to embrace that I really do have the power that raised Jesus from the dead living in me and acknowledge that the exact same power is going to bring these dead bones back to abundant life. 

Look for the link to start Rebekah Lyons Rhythms of Grace study yourself on the blog sidebar.

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