Thursday, April 24, 2014
Life Got Hard
It isn't so much that one thing is going horribly wrong.
And it isn't so much that nothing is going right.
But we get caught up in the happenings and the comings and the goings. There's a lot that needs to be done. And so we just bustle on through, working on it all with diligent hands. But with each intentional act of love and life, our hearts empty a little more, working until they're empty. If we're not mindful, if we're not watching and listening, we just keep working. Busy hands but empty heart. We may not feel empty until we're far past empty.
And that's where the threat truly lies, where the enemy will sneak right in. Knowing you're running off of fumes, he'll just throw in his own toxic gases. And before you know it, you're numb. You don't feel the empty and you can't see the threat.
Last week was Holy Week. Passover. The great sorrow and mercy of Good Friday. The hope only found in the risen Christ of Easter.
It started off like a Holy Week typically does. Remembering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God who passed over our inequities with a purpose and plan yet to be fulfilled. We remembered how the prophecies and feasts pointed to The One to come. The promised God Man. The One who fills emptied hearts.
The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you...
The week began with that simple reminder. The promise of the blood that covers our souls, making us new, passed over, redeemed. Breathing hope. Lighting the way for the celebration of the week ahead.
And then life got hard.
That big, strong man of mine, he just goes and goes and goes. And he pushes through and does all that he needs to do. He's got a large load to carry - seeking Him first, serving this family we have, and caring for the flock. He's got strong arms though, so it's ok. But even sometimes the strongest of arms can't hold themselves up. And that's where we were. In the middle of a disease that hadn't plagued him in years, ravaging his insides and seeking to destroy. Scary reminders of the first time it hit, the words still ringing through my ears...
He could have died in that bed.
He could have died...
No destructive plague will touch you.
Proactive as I am, my protective nature takes over. Doctors and medicines, rest and remedies. Prayer. Lots of prayer. We attack this plague now, this destruction shall not touch him. And I keep going, busying my hands but all the while becoming victim of that emptied heart. And the busier I get, the less I see it emptying. And then it's too late, and I'm going off of fumes... toxic.
Who's septic now?
Steady heart, let us find what is good to be filled with.
The husband, healing, preaching the message of the Gospel. Sharing on that good day, a great hope of the long awaited Passover Lamb. Hanging. Hurting from the lashes and hurting from the spikes driven through bone and marrow and hurting from the hurts that we still ache with today. That blood that covers all sin, passes over, just dripping down the tattered body of the Passover Lamb, covering the wounds and staining splintered wood... We break the bread and drink the cup and remember the sacrifice so great. We sing our praise from broken and emptied hearts. We leave that sanctuary knowing that the blood wasn't just spilled, but it was forming hope of a resurrected God Man to come. And Sunday comes, and we sing praise of the promise fulfilled, resurrected and walking in a beautiful glory that my mind simply can not fathom. To be that broken woman so desperately in need of mercy and grace, to be the first one to behold Him in all of that glory...
I am that broken woman. And I do so desperately need that mercy and grace... Can I even stand to take one glimpse of that glory though? This emptied heart needs to be filled but these drab eyes can only see so much. The glory is blinding and I can just barely see.
So, here we are, nearly a week later. And that big, strong man of mine is still bound to the bed. Hurting.
God... we are begging for healing here.
And me? I'm just trying. I'm trying so hard (maybe too hard) to be filled only with You, to not fall prey to the sly deceit of the one who would fill me toxic. So that these hands can serve him, and serve them, and serve Him. And my arms? They're weak. Like I said, this is a large load to carry. And my big, strong man, he can barely hold himself up right now. So he needs You. And I desire to help him carry this load, and I need You.
God, how I need You.
But... this is exactly where I need to be.
This is where true filling comes. In the broken, humble heart, the heart seeking what is good to be filled with. Seeking what is good, and true, and noble, and right, and pure, and lovely. Seeking the Holy. Begging and broken, in need of strength and filling.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:28-31
Yes, this is exactly where I need to be.
Father, may You be glorified in my emptiness. Fill me so completely, overflowing with Your Spirit, goodness, mercy and truth. And please, guard my heart like only You can, so that when I run empty again (in my weakness I do this too often) only You are where I turn for a refill. Life gets hard, but You overcame life, death, and the grave so that I may be filled with You and You alone.