I remember after my accident the first faint whisper God spoke. I sat every day in the ashes of my burned-down-life, not sure if I even wanted to recover from all the devastation I saw.
A weariness had enveloped me that was beyond anything I had ever experienced before.
That place, right in the middle of all my MESS—God showed up.
I wish I could tell you I was in this super-spiritual place but the truth is I was trying to contemplate a life without God. My disappointment went far beyond my rage at my circumstances. I was just “finished” and God and I both knew it!
That had been our deal.
I had returned to my faith from “the world” as beat-up prodigal who didn’t believe “a God of love” even existed. So, before I was even willing to try out this “Christian” thing again, I wanted a new deal between God and myself.
I wanted total transparency with no head-faking-bull.
I wanted no part of the phony church stuff I had seen growing up.
Actually, things worked out well for the first few years. I jumped into the discipleship thing for all I was worth. I studied my Bible each morning. I regularly attended church. I devoured every Christian book I could get my hands on. I began serving in church in all kinds of different ways. Life was good. I was growing. You might even say I was thriving.
Then life fell apart. An undetected illness and the resulting visit to the Emergency Room brought everything crashing down.
Each day I sat in the ruins trying to decide if my “return to God” had just been another colossal mistake in a long line of mistakes.
Was this Christian-thing just one big con job? I felt betrayed. I was recoiling from all the stuff I had believed.
If you tust God is THIS what you get?
So I stopped reading my Bible.
I couldn’t pray.
I wanted nothing to do with a God like this!
How did I get here?
My doubts that had begun as whispers were now shouting at me, “Is this what obedience brings?”
Everywhere I looked I saw only devastation and chaos!
I wondered, “What kind of a loving God loves like this?”
God hears even the faintest whisper in our hearts.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is hidden from God. He was “listening in” on all my doubt and inner rage. I didn’t know it then, but He was counting each broken-hearted tear. He was letting me grope my way along in the dark for awhile—just waiting. Waiting for me to finish venting all my frustrations, and for the silence to descend.
Now in the inner quiet He began to whisper.
I grabbed a pen and began to write.
Yes YOU sitting in the ashes.
These ruins you see all about you? They are not who you are.
They are not your final destination or your destiny.
You are in Me and I AM in you.
Our two lives are as inseparable as a brook that flows into a river. Where does the brook end and the river begin? Hah, you can’t tell Me! That’s how it is with us. My life flowing in you. Your life flowing in Me.
You look at these ashes and think, “It’s all over now.”
You see ruins where once stood bright hopes and shining dreams, and you think, “What’s the use of dreaming?”
But Sweet Heart look up.
Turn those tear-filled eyes toward Me. I AM still here. You are still here. We are not going to dwell forever in—this place. This is only for a moment in your eternity. A wink! I AM your true Vine not your dreams. Your life flows from Me, not from people, possessions, or calling. Come, dry those eyes. Life is not over. Only changed. But remember what I told you? “I do not change!” I AM the One you can always count on. I AM the Foundation that does not move.
We will be leaving here soon. As we step out of these ashes to begin again? You will see Me transform these ashes of yours into radiant beauty.
“To all who mourn… He will give beauty for ashes.”
Isaiah 61:3Isaiah 61:3
English: World English Bible - WEB
3 to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give to them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that he may be glorified.