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)