Dawn revealed fog blanketing our land—opaque and mysterious, romantically beautiful, like folds of white tulle blurring the landscape. And my eyes blurred with prayerful tears.
She left this morning after pancakes and strawberries. Seventeen. Little girl wrapped in woman’s body, arrested last week for theft. She needed a place to stay so we took her in for a few days. I’ve known her well for seven years.
We walked the trails, she and I, and talked and prayed. She cried and shook, cuddled with barn cat between hay bales, body begging for a tight hold of grace. And I gave it. And we talked and prayed some more. She’s scared to the core, she is. Her parents have had enough of her lying and stealing and overall disobedience. Who could blame them?
But she’s a Christian. Not just a lip-serving, say-I’m-a-Christian-when-it-works-for-me type. I believe she’s sincere—that she sincerely loves God. So why do Christians who love God do such stupid, even premeditated, costly things?
I can relate to being handcuffed and identity printed and mug shot straight through. Self does that. Self so strong, so insistent, rules us—imprisons us—identifies us—until something stronger sets us free. Praise our God that even handcuffs and bars may keep us in, but nothing can keep Him out.
Sometimes, though, we refuse the Lord of all prisons, the One who is the key to our release. Even then, He stays. He stays with us and dangles freedom, enticing us, wooing us to come out and come with. So why do we stay in our cells?
The fog of Self blinds, making us unable to find our way. We need some light-burning, way-showing Someone to lead us safely through and bring us to the end of Self because there—at the end—is release. There—at the end—of Self-rule—is freedom.
God’s there in the fog of our lives, no matter how thick, no matter how blinding, no matter how frightening.
This morning she left after downing three pancakes cut with trembling hands. She doesn’t know where she’s going after school today. Neither do I. But God does. He’s preparing a place for her—of this I am confident because God loves her, His little wayward lamb. May not be what she wants but I’m confident of this—He will provide what she needs. Will it be our home? I don’t know. We just pray and trust God to lead through the fog. God will make a way when there seems to be no way—when we can’t see beyond our own two feet. He moves mountains. He parts seas. He resurrects the dead. He transforms brokenness. How do I know?
I have been dead. I have been broken beyond human repair. God has done this resurrecting, this transforming without fail throughout my life, as sure as the dawn. His light rises and burns blinding fog so I can see straight. As sure as the dawn after dark night, His sun rises. And the Son rose.
Jesus rose to raise us. But first we must die. How I wish we would stop believing the lies that true life comes any other way than through death. But some would rather kill themselves—suddenly and violently—or bit-by-bit, day-by-day—the death drip of Liar’s words eroding and contorting soul made by God in His image. And The Liar laughs and mocks those he blinds and binds. And The Freedom Giver, our Freedom Winner—Jesus—still stands holding freedom’s key in His hand.
“Come!” He beckons. “Come out of your cell of fear and anger and pain! Follow me! I know the way out! Don’t be afraid! I know you can’t see, but I can. Take my hand. I promise you’ll be safe with me, no matter what we encounter. I AM FREEDOM!”
What has died in our lives? What needs resurrected? What needs freed? What needs transformed? God can do it. I know. I have witnessed Him resurrect and free and transform over and over and over in my life and in many, many lives I’ve watched. This is His business—resurrection and freedom and transformation and healing the blind so we all can see the Way, the Truth, the Life—so we can SEE Jesus, better than any vision our physical eyes can provide.
I watched the sun rise after she left this morning. I grabbed my camera to document as if I’ve never seen this scene before. But I have. Many, many times. And I’m always awed because this scene reminds me that, just as the sun rises every morning, the Son never sets on our lives. Never. He is wildly eager to warm us with His love and burn off the blindness that keeps us so soul scared, so soul scarred. He is our forever resurrected Savior, transformer of our hearts, healer of our wounds, hope of our world.
Follow. No matter where He leads.
Don’t fear. Because there is no need.
No need is too big for Jesus!
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.