I peered over the edge.
And I can’t see the other side.
“This way.” He said.
“But it doesn’t make sense! It’s not what I wanted!! I can’t see anything.” I protest.
“This way.” He urges again.
I turn around considering my options. When will my best and His line up? Why does His best have so many steep cliffs? Why? Where? How? Will I fall? How bad will it hurt this time? I wish I was braver.
I turn around again knowing if I’m supposed to fall the resulting brokenness will make me better. I grimace not looking forward to the impending pain but trusting the One who will fix me. I start taking one step closer to the edge frantically looking for something to soften my blow. Nothing. One more step. At this point I feel the loose gravel below me start to come off the edge.
I stop. Take a deep breath in. Exhale. Lift my foot over the edge and start to lean into the unknown.
Moments go by but it feels like hours. Everything in me wants to turn around and latch onto solid ground but I know it’s only an illusion. That ground will soon turn to quick sand and I’ll be sucked down into a place I never wanted to go.
“Papa!!!” my heart cries out.
“Papa! If you need to strip me down again, I’ll accept the crash but Papa, please, if there is a way around it, please provide solid ground!” I beg with every ounce of myself.
I keep falling without knowledge if my fall will be broken.
That loud voice starts shouting that He’s forgotten me. That I’m all alone. That it’s up to me. That I have to make it happen. That I made a mistake. That I failed. Louder and louder it screams in the silence.
I start to scream back. No! Papa is GOOD. Papa is ALWAYS. Papa is FAITHFUL. Even though the circumstances around me contradict my certainty, I continue to hold fast to what I know to be Truth. I don’t know how long or far I’ll fall, but I know that I can love Papa more on the other side of it. As soon as the fibers of my being cry out in absolute faith my foot connects with solid ground.
I stand up amazed at what just happened.
No strength of my own conjured up solid ground. It is Christ in me that held onto the belief of Papa’s faithfulness. It is remembering the deeds of the LORD that come to mind as my heart drops to my stomach. It is calling on His never ending love for His glory and my best that keeps me from shattering.
And it’s then that I realize how no trial is ever fun but the attitudes we learn and the habits we form during them carry into future trials. Because friends, devastation happens, no matter how much we love the LORD. Affairs, death, illness, job losses, financial ruin – they happen to us. And how we train our hearts to react sets us up for future behaviors.
I’m not saying I had it all together or that I made every right choice in this season.
I’m saying that my heart believed against all hope that Papa would be faithful, even if His faithfulness looked different from what I hoped it would be. And that is credit to merciful, unending, beautiful grace Christ grants me every morning and evening. I am a sinner – prone to wander and forget. But He’s made me a saint – steadfast and faithful.
I do not need safety
as much as I need you
But Lord you’re beautiful
I’ll chase you through the pain
I’ll carry my cross
’cause real love
is not afraid to bleed
I’ve counted up the cost…. and You are worth it.