An interesting thing happened to me this morning as I was driving home from dropping my son off for his 2nd day of High School. My spirit was awakened as I listened to a Natalie Grant song, Held.
For some time now, I have been standing in the gap for my prodigal. You know the routine, every waking moment you are praying, reading God's Word, relying on God's faithfulness and character when you are unable to lean on your own understanding. Until this morning, I didn't realize that the duration of this battle has caused a numbness of my soul. In a very real sense, I have been operating on auto-pilot. Suddenly, and without anticipation, the beautiful lyrics and melody of this song stirred my Soul! You see, when you are standing in the gap for a loved one, you begin to realize that you are often standing on that wall, a moving target for the enemy, and while the wait is long, your senses become dulled by the constant attacks and noise of the battle. While it is important to remain obedient in our plea, I have missed the soul stirring emotion of being "held."
To feel; when your child is walking on a dangerous path, it is natural to turn off your feelings--they are too dangerous to accept. However, when we turn off our feelings, when we shut down, we cheat ourselves of feeling the comfort that only God provides in our sorrow. When our focus is solely on the answer to our desperate prayer, we put God in a box and stand outside of that box in the cold; standing solidly in the war zone of fear, of anxiety, of self-directed manipulation.
What fears and anxieties cause my feelings to shut down? Am I afraid of God's answer? Do I trust His will for the life of my son? What is so scary that, in my humanness, I wrap my armor so tightly around my heart that I cannot feel the loving comfort of my Savior holding me?
It is no coincidence that when I came home from my daily school drive that I opened my Life Line Devotional and discovered this devotional.
The Reach of His Love
When we choose life, we choose God’s love to abound in us. But what is the reach of God’s love? Here are some examples, straight out of the Bible. Breathe these into your heart. Wear these words like armor. Treasure these truths.
How Far? “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…” Ephesians 3:17b-18
“…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19
“But as for me, I will enter Your house through the abundance of Your steadfast love and mercy; I will worship toward and at Your holy temple in reverent fear and awe of You.” Psalm 5:7
“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3
“For the word of the Lord is right and true, he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
The ultimate example of God’s far-reaching love for us is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Now, that is far reaching love!
If we choose life, we choose God’s promises. What keeps us from choosing life on a daily basis? What steps can we take to fully receive and understand the far-reaching love of our Lord?
Today’s devotional was written by Janie Plante
You see, even when I hide, even though I shut down, no matter how long we operate on auto-pilot--our God is faithful to love us. My choice today is to rest in His promise: His promise of comfort and His assurance of the Victory that will be won--no matter what my performance on that wall. I simply need to remain standing, and when I fall, He has promised to hold me!
Today, focus with me on how it feels to be held in the arms of the One who loves you! Let Him comfort you, let your Spririt be stirred to abundance as He loves you through the battle. Even in the midst of the struggle--let your Spirit soar! Be held!