Day by day, moment by moment present.
I had been pulled into a moment and needed a walk. I went to the lake just to see the sun on its frozen surface then turned around and went home before I froze.
I had been struck by the words I’d read that morning in Jeremiah …each one’s word had become their own message, distorting the words of the living God. (23:36b) and had to ask myself if my words were merely a manipulation to magnify myself?
I knew I could do nothing for Him, or write anything of lasting value without Him, but had I? Or am I?
As I walked in the cold air and beauty, I remembered that God is not an accuser. He would not inflict shame. I recognized the feeling within as shame and doubt. God doesn’t shame us. So I picked up my Shield as I walked on. And taking in the beauty of the bare limbs spiraling and intersecting, I wondered what it would be like to live without a Savior.
After many months, many years and endless revisions of the second draft of a manuscript, I cupped my hands, lifted them and asked if the motive behind my work is wrong or has been wrong in any way at any time, to forgive me, I repented. I turned around.
Let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. (Jer 23: 28b)
Called to write? Just because we have faith doesn’t mean shame and doubt won’t show up. But we have our Shield of Faith.
And just because we long for the One who was forsaken doesn’t mean we won’t feel forsaken. And is that the point?
Is it there we can better understand the profound depth of His sacrifice? He had been forsaken, separated for us. He endured, He scorned shame for the joy set before Him. He is the Author and perfecter of our faith.
He knows us. He is there in the deepest darkness of the years, in them all, in us. He knows our broken, he was broken. He knows every insult. He knows our pain. He took it, He knows our shame, he tossed it. He knows every thought and deed, all lies, and brings it all into the light.
He came to us so that we wouldn’t be separated, the lies of the accuser could be silenced. He reigns over all powers and authorities and in the hearts of all those who answer His knock saying, “Come in.” He is our Refuge.
So, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
So we lay our words on the Altar, pick up our Shields, and follow.
(Additional Scripture references: Hebrews 12:2, Colossians 2:10)
Really good Deb. We must keep walking that path. In all our ways. We never hear of the war on motive. Only God can purify our heart and it happens when we pick up the shield of faith.
I mostly question my motives in writing and playing music…not sure why.
Keep going on the manuscript please!
So good to hear your “voice” Gary! It’s been a while. Thanks so much for being a true pal. I’ve gotten into the habit of praying for my blogging buddies. It keeps us connected. 🙆🏻
I have been praying for several online friends as well (you included). I think losing Ron Bouchard was hard on me (not sure if you knew of his blog) even though he finished well. Praying does keep people connected. It also makes us give the other the benefit of the doubt if something seems not quite right in a blog.
Your heart was put on display in this post Deb. Thanks for being so beautifully transparent. Doubt is a prerequisite to evoking the faith to conquer it. Like our friend Gary, you have my prayers sister to keep on and experience His bringing Rom.12:2 to completion in your life for His glory. Be blessed sister!
Hi Deb, this was a beautiful post. You voiced the questions that all of us who write sometimes ask and I agree with your conclusion. “So we lay our words on the Altar, pick up our Shields, and follow.” And there was another statement that you made that grabbed my heart. “I thought about what it would be like to live without a Savior.” That thought cannot be entertained in my mind. Somehow in this journey that I have been taken on, I have come to love Jesus and in loving Jesus, loving our Father and the Holy Spirit. I can’t put that into words, what it signifies, what it means. My wife and I were listening to the song “I Can Only Imagine” yesterday and I was standing by our window, looking outside, as the tears streamed down my face. What a gift we have been given. And how can one adequately say “Thank You” for something as beautiful as that. God is love. I believe that with all of my heart. There are lots of things that I don’t comprehend and plenty of times when I mess up, but His love is so much bigger than that. And Jesus personifies that love and I have indeed tasted and that is sheer grace, a gift beyond all gifts. God has your heart, I see it in all that you write. And if I know anything at all, I know that God cherishes that love in your heart that you have for Him. And it is beautiful. Love in Christ – Bruce
Gary, you always make me smile. I didn’t know about Ron. I met him through you. He was an encouragement to me. I’m so sorry…I hope to be back around soon and get back in the flow. Thank you always for your grace, humor and kindness.
I will, and you too with yours, please! Thank you Gary.
Thank you for reading and for your prayers and for leaving such a wonderful blessing. Now back at you. It’s so nice to connect!
Hi Bruce! You are often on my heart. I hope all is well with you and your family. I always love the things you notice in the words I write. I had originally gone on to write a paragraph on thoughts without a Savior then cut it. Perhaps it’s not something to even ponder but I had been thinking about the OT vs the NT. That would deserve a post (or a manuscript!) all its own. 🙂
Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to share your heart. I know I’ve been MIA. Sending love and blessings!
Not to worry Deb. Good to see you online again!
“A manipulation to magnify myself” — it’s a really good –and maybe the best!– question to ask ourselves (and I do, too). If answered in no other way after editing, I think maybe the answer comes through one’s readers. Godspeed on your manuscript!
[And speaking of that, when you Like-d a post recently, I realized I hadn’t *seen* your posts for some time. I came over and found that I am still subscribed but that your posts weren’t coming to me. I un- and re-subscribed, and will hope that fixed it!]
“The answer comes through one’s readers.” I love that. And our prayer is that it’s the right answer! ☺️
And thank you. I was so glad to see your blog name pop up. It’s really good to reconnect again! Not according to plan, I hadn’t posted since Nov. It’s good to be back. ❤️
Very glad to see you again!
Beautiful description of the uniqueness of the Christian faith among all the empty religions.
Thank you so much. He surely loves us.