Ruined, wrecked, but finding gold…

Laura Hackett released this really beautiful single a couple of weeks ago, and it’s kind of been my soundtrack-for-life over the last week. You know, those songs that you just play on repeat? And then they play on repeat in your brain even when they’re not actually playing?

 

You satisfy my soul

You satisfy my soul

You satisfy my soul

With Your love

 

And You make my heart sing

You lift me on eagle’s wings

Just when I thought, my heart, it would faint

And You take the darkest night

And You turn it to shining light

Just when I thought that the night had won

 

For You satisfy my soul

You satisfy my soul

You satisfy my soul

With Your love

 

Hallelujah, You make all things beautiful

Hallelujah, trials and testing prove there’s gold

Hallelujah, You turn mourning into joy

 

Hallelujah, You make all things beautiful

Hallelujah, trials and testing prove there’s gold

Hallelujah, You turn mourning into joy

 

And You satisfy my soul

You satisfy my soul

You satisfy my soul

With Your love

 

You make my heart sing

You lift me on eagle’s wings

Just when I thought, that my heart, it would faint

You take the darkest night

And You turn it to shining light

Just when I thought that the night had won

 

You satisfy me

You satisfy my soul with Your love

Image

 

It reminds me of that oh-so-wonderful-but-yet-so-difficult lesson: that our beautiful, beautiful God is never late in His timings, even when it sometimes really feels like He is.

It reminds me of John 11; of how Mary and Martha must have felt when their brother died, of how it must have felt so brutally and heart-breakingly painful; that feeling when our dreams are not just distant, but dead and buried and hidden deep inside a four-day old tomb.

And of that choice.

You know, that choice?

Where we can run to God in our brokenness, carrying our shattered dreams and everything that we are; or we can run away from Him with our offended heart because things didn’t work out the way that we wanted them to.

And I want to run only to Him.

Run to Him with everything I am, and everything I will ever be.

To choose to worship, to choose this connection of intimacy with Holy Spirit, to know with all certainty that He chose me first, and to make that the biggest priority in my life.

To offer Him all of my weak love and all of my little life, to know that it somehow moves His mighty, awesome, Creator-God heart, and to just trust.

Trust that there’s a greater miracle on the way.

Because if Jesus can raise Lazarus, then He can raise me. He’s still that same God.
And all that this world has to offer can never, ever, ever compare to a moment in His Presence.

It just can’t.

No human love, no monetary value, no amount of popularity or worldly success.

Nothing in this world can ever compare to one moment in His Presence.

To one glimpse from His eyes.

To know that He’s looking at you.

That He sees you.

To know that you can press into Him in a deeper way.

To know that you can fall at His feet and that He will embrace you.

God’s been talking to me this whole last year about how much He loves me. And I thought I knew that, I thought I got it! But I keep being so challenged. Because He has come close over and over again, and He just says, ‘If you’ve had a real encounter of my love then it will have transformed you, and it will keep on transforming you. If you keep on having a revelation of my love, you will never be the same and you will never stay the same’.

Because when you realise just a tiny amount of way that God loves us; jealous jealousy, all-consuming fire; this is the language He uses to describe His love, His uncontainable passion for every single one of us; this raging flame, this all-consuming flood…

It changes you.

It wrecks me, and ruins me for anything less. How can it not?

In John 11, Mary and Martha see the glory of God in a greater capacity than they could have ever previously imagined. They thought Jesus was going to come and He was going to heal their brother, and he was going to be healed and it was all going to be happy. The end.

But, they actually meet Jesus in a new way.

They see Jesus weep with compassion, they see how they move Him. And then they see Him raise the dead.

I always think that Mary and Martha and Lazarus must have found it easier to believe the resurrection of Christ, because they’d lived it first-hand. They must have found it easier to get their head’s around. He’d kind of prepped them for it. He’d kind of shown them: ‘I conquer death. Look, I’m doing it now. It will happen with me, but this is just a foretaste’.
It blows your mind when you read that story.

Isaiah 61: 3 says that God bestows on us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. And do you know what hits me about that verse?

It’s a total exchange.

I can’t keep my ashes on my head, and just have a crown of beauty on top.

It doesn’t work.

God has to take away the ashes, and place a crown of beauty on me.

If I’m crying, He anoints me with the oil of gladness, so that I am glad.

And that doesn’t mean that life becomes easy, or that life becomes easy to deal with.

But these are promises.

‘In Your Presence I am filled with joy’ (Psalm 16:11).

Stop and think about that.

In God’s Presence we are filled with joy.

But sometimes life is really, really, really difficult and horrible and overwhelming, and I can’t get my head around that!

And even then, Abba gently whispers, ‘I go through the difficulties with you, but I call you into my Presence, because I have done everything to be close to you.’
Suffering is one of those things that just seems black. It’s like the Sermon on the Mount. You read it at the front end and it just seems pretty black. You think ‘blessed are those who mourn’? I don’t want to mourn! Where’s the fun in mourning?!

But God says, ‘Come into My Presence. Because in My Presence, things move into the atmosphere of heaven, and what is black now, appears in the white, shining, sparkling glory of eternity. Because there is joy in sorrow. And there is reward in suffering. And there is intimacy in trial.’

And we experience God’s love, and we experience God’s glory in a greater capacity when we go through the experience living out life with Him.
I’ve been so challenged!!

I love to worship with music. I’m a musical person. And I love to dance, and I love to shout, and I love to sing, and I love to make a big sound before God.

I love it.

That’s where I’m at home.

But you know, God said, ‘Peta, you have to use that energy on the inside, as well as the outside’.

I don’t want to be someone who stands up there and makes a big noise in a meeting and doesn’t have that same passion and energy on the inside of my heart.

Because that’s what God sees.

God loves my external worship. He does.

But do you know what He loves more? When the external is just an overflow of what’s going on internally. Because we’re running our race well. And because we’re striving after Him and because we’re saying, ‘God, You’re worth everything to me. I choose You. I choose You every day. I choose You in every circumstance, and when I don’t choose You I get on my knees and I repent and then I get back up and I choose You again’.

And when we choose God, when we choose Him in suffering and we choose Him in happiness, and we choose Him in every season of the soul, then God says that what’s on the outside will just reflect the internal.
If we’re bitter about the way that life has treated us, and if we’re bitter about the fact that God seems to have run really late, then that will come out on the outside. You can only hide it for so long. You can only raise your hands in worship for so long before that comes out.

Because what God wants is a total exchange.

A total exchange.

That we take on the garments of praise, but we give Him the garments of despair.

Does it take away the despair? Not always.

But it’s an exchange, it’s a choice.

We choose to love Him.

And do you know, I really believe that when we make that choice, we will see God in a greater capacity than we could have ever imagined.

I know it.

Wow. I’m floored again.

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