That’s a question I can’t stop asking. Quite honestly, the answer terrifies me. Is that something a Christian isn’t supposed to admit out loud? Well. All I can say is, God speaks to each of us on specific things He wants us to do. His loudest call is often one to painful action — the sort of obedience that feels like tearing, rending, breaking, shrinking. The tidy Christian girl I once was would have believed God rescued me from each of those pits. The woman I am now understands the Almighty God, my Creator, my Dad, drove me to the edge of each cliff, then let me fall. He’s never left me there, and my bones were never broken from the impact. My pride has been broken. My faith in myself has shattered over and over. Yet it always manages to rebuild. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me. ~ Hosea 13:5-6 I’d like to believe there’s another way. I wish I could learn these lessons for good, be altogether done with the burn of sanctification. If it were up to me, I’d have long arrived. I’d have earned my wings when I was baptized. Of course God loves me too much for that. He wants me ever-nearer, close enough that His whispers carry deep-rooted weight, changing the air in the room, super-charging my heart until it beats like His. God calls us to hard places to prove our inadequacy. He invites us into pain and brokenness because in our suffering, no matter the scope, we cling to Him. We are offered gifts of sadness, loneliness, frustration, and insecurity because we need help, and His name is Jesus. He has a plan for each of of us, and it is a wonderful thing — brilliant, gleaming, busted-up, and tired. He loves us too much to allow a life without heartache, the kind that leans hard toward forgetting who He is. I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me. ~ Hosea 14:8 God goes with us into the wilderness and every dry land. He is the answer to every question, the life blooming from dirt, the promise that we’re never done surrendering. Are you hurting today? Take heart. Dare to see God, right now. Dare to believe the things you’ve been taught are true, that He’s beside you, and His hand reaches out for yours. Are you maxed out? Not at all equipped for the task you’ve been dealt? Not even close to faithful enough, and far too grumpy? Let’s link elbows, because I’m with you. His preferences are for the small and unworthy. Unusual? Maybe. But they fall in our favor. He keeps wanting us, never stops chasing us, leads us to hard places, and holds us there. He is God and we are not. Any safety or comfort we’re meant to hold waits in His hands. He is reason enough.
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