Sunday, April 3, 2016

On Being Reached

I don't know how God is reaching you these days.

I don't know if you're tuned in to Him or wrestling with Him or fighting to run from Him.

But here's what I know. He catches up. In fact, we're most likely never ahead of Him, no matter how slick or speedy we think we are.

And He's always listening. He is there on the mornings we rise early to spend time with Him and He's there on the mornings we hit snooze three times because the day already feels too heavy and we actively don't talk to Him about it. He hears our little messy, siren, heart songs then, too.

He can handle the wrestling and the questioning and, most certainly, He can outrun our running.

But I don't know where you are.

I know that for every 24 hour day I am alive and participating in this life, I am spending a significant amount of time trying to shove Him in a box -- whether I am aware of it or not. I doubt His capabilities. I question His motives. I yell at Him about the poor timing He has set for the trajectory of my life.

I know that for a long time I never thought I needed to leave my comfort zone to know Him or feel Him better. It wasn't necessary. Passports and Visas and plane rides were not necessary components for my heart to be opened.

For an even longer amount of time, in what I refer to as the driest wilderness of a season, I tried to - hourly - take the control and rewrite what He was writing. And I failed. Every single time, I hit a brick wall and instead of it falling under the sheer power of my stubbornness, I crumbled.

These may not be pieces of your story. Or maybe they are.

But here's what I'm learning. My King reaches me best, is the loudest voice in my head and strongest force in my heart, when I am not home. He moves in Dayton - through the kids I am blessed to work with and the community that is more like family and in the evenings that I get alone in my own space. He's moving. And He's working in Casstown - over the cornfields I grew up watching and debating on leaving for so many years and in the living room where my family gathered the most together and in the eyes of the people I trust the most. He's at work.

But most of the time, I don't hear Him. Most of the time, I don't even know that I should be looking to Him. Because I am caught up in what I might be missing out on. Or what my relationship status is. Or making sure I can be at everything I am invited to, even if I have no business being around people because my body  and heart just need to rest. So I am not wired in to what He wants to do with me and through me and for me.

I just returned from Mexico. I spent a week in a new place, with familiar people I love intensely, and God was louder than He's been for a while.

Because I was listening.

One afternoon I got to go to the beach and we sat our towels down and walked out into the water and waited for it to rush up to tickle our feet. I looked out over the rolling water - blue and rich - and I got tears in my eyes.

The cornfields I grew up near - with the sorbet colored sunsets that'll knock you off your feet - had been enough for so long that I had begun to believe that this was all He was capable of. But as I looked out over the water that seemed to go on forever, I thought about this King that I had tried to box in so many times, and I realized that if He can make the waves and the mountains, if He can rustle the corn on a summer night gummy with humidity, if He creates the unparalleled heat of a June night in India, then He could most certainly handle the reckless, wandering human that is me. What is more, if He can create all of those things and continue to inspire awe, then He, without question, knows what's best for our stories.

Last week I went to a new country. And the Captain of my story met me there - unchanged and unwavering - and I slowed down and opened up my heart and He set to repairing the knicks and chunks of myself I had broken off or allowed to be punctured.

I don't know how you're being reached in these days. I don't know if you need to travel or leave home or simply stay just right where you are. But I hope you open up yourself to coming to understand where you are at your best to be healed by Him.

Maybe it's the water. Maybe it's your kitchen, in front of a pot of steaming water, with olive oil on hand. Maybe it's sipping lemonade on a friend's porch or getting lost in the back corner of a bookstore with creaky floorboards. I just hope you find it.

I am learning, in these days inching closer to 30, that if I am getting on a plane, I'm likely going to feel Him moving magnificently within my heart. But before I came to that understanding, I had to be willing to say yes to His asking to get on the plane. I had to stop putting God in a box and assuming I knew what was best for my future.

I had to cease and desist with putting my life in a box and preparing to ship it into my version of forever.

I don't know where you are. But it is my deep desire that we all learn to let go significantly more. Because He's got this.

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