It began in ways that seems to encapsulate my life well.
For starters, I almost missed my flight, way back in January. Then, literally within an hour of arriving at the base, I received a phone call from a rather panicked mother of mine, telling me that I had received a "bad" report from the endocrinologist. - It was serious, but not so serious. ... This was how it began. Not a smooth beginning really, but a beginning and the Lord saw me all the way here, safely, and healthy as soon as all the diabetic stuff was fixed and properly managed. But it seems things like this characterize my life well, while things are defying the odds already!
Think about, someone in my shoes - diabetic, double lung transplant, etc ... does not belong any where but in the modern and clean USA. But I am not. ... Moving on.
This beginning, is the beginning of a process I could never have foreseen coming, and a process of learning that seems to be just beginning. Lots of beginnings! The process is sanctification! It is what the Christian community calls "being made holy, being made like Christ!" So, some think, "What is the big deal, every child of the Most High is undergoing a life-long process of sanctification! So what?" This is true.
But, based on my last 6 months, there are also seasons of more intensive sanctification periods, where the Lord pours out of Himself all that is needed to further refine His children from themselves - from their flesh, sinful tendencies, etc. That is what these months have been.
So, it started by God knocking me on to my butt, that is redirecting my vision and mindset from self-sufficiency to dependency upon His goodness and faithfulness. He remained faithful, which for some unknown reason surprises me, but He did so by practically getting all the diabetic problems I had under control ASAP! It was quite miraculous. They have never been better ... but now I have to remain disciplined to keep them that way.
The next step in this process was in February, when God blew my mind and my perception of Him and His love out of the water!!! It was amazing and is amazing! This I will quote from my post from February, Three Things. It went as following:
Secondly … even more exciting … is a revelation from the Lord! The implications of this revelation have the potential to literally change my life, for the rest of my life. Much joy, overflowing into tears of joy, has been experienced because of this. I have no doubt in my mind, heart, soul or anything else that this is a major answer to prayer … about my cold heart as of recently.
It began of all the ways possible by generally neglecting my spiritual life as I succumbed to the lie of a cold heart. In the meantime, I the book, The Shack, which not to indorse anything, but I highly recommend it! It is surprising how the Lord uses such unexpected means to turn things upside down! In the book, the main character, Mack, has an encounter with the Trinity in a very distinct and personal way. The author does a great job of depicting God – all three persons – as extremely personal, loving, and intimate … but keeps Him dignified as the Almighty God (as a disclaimer, Yes I know its fiction, and very much fiction at that, and that the author takes liberties … so don’t think I am treating this as Truth).
This had its affect on me … the best I can do to fill you in is quote from my journal, I began,
“I feel like the author has some keen insights into the heart of God. I think mainly that He is oozing, overflowing, and swelled with love, and that love is not staunch, cold love; but a warm fatherly, motherly, brotherly, and friendly love. Aren’t all the people in my life made like Him? So don’t they portray a small facet of His love to me? YES!
“There seems to be some disparity b/w the truth & how I perceive God … it’s shaking & stirring things up on the inside. He has got to be so much warmer, loving, approachable, and hospitable that I treat Him. I mean, He remains King over all and of all, but He is not so high and mighty that I cannot approach Him, to climb up in His lap as a child with a parent! This has to do with how personal He is, its not only that He knows me, but that He enjoys me & has invited me to enjoy Him!
“I think I have been so focused on “bringing glory to God” that I have robbed Him & myself of true relationship … I mean, He has made me His own, but I have just regarded His as so cold, as a stand-offish King with unreachable, unattainable standards and expectations. But as pointed out in The Shack JESUS FULFILLS ALL THESE EXPECTATIONS! All God wants is for me to LOVE HIM! To love Him and nothing more, and this is no duty, but a joy! How great is it to love & be loved – even b/w humans & now, to think the God of all, my intimate Father God, Abba, and Daddy is calling me to love, to simply love!
“I am loved perfectly! No height, no depth, no joy, no pain, no depression, no loneliness, no good, no sin, no anger, no wrong perceptions, no lack of wisdom, no nothing can separate me from the love of God! Who will separate me from the love of Christ? Will tribulation or distresses, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, for your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. But in all things we overwhelming conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, no angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights, nor depths, nor any created thing will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Rom 8:35-39).
“Oh freedom! To love is freedom, to be loved is freedom! Your love oh Lord is freedom … to live, to love, to risk, to be freed from all self-imposed expectations and burdens … to be freed from the law, Perfect love casts out all fear! (1 John 4:18). … The band NeedToBreathe has a song called Let Us Love … oh this is it!
“God, I praise you! Help me to cast off these burdens that are not of you! Help me to love you in the great joy of your freeing love!”That is what I learned and experienced! I met God in a new way that changes everything! I mean, I cannot go forward in this life without the filter of God stating, "I love you. ... I love you. ... I love you, I love you, I love you," continually covering my heart! This affects and alters the course of life as I know it. Do I need to beat myself up over sin? NO! I confess it, deal with it rightly, and move on seeking to love God like He has loved me! I have to go forward checking my perceptions of God, are they correct? If yes, continue in that train of thinking, if not, seek God for a correct view of Him and then run hard after Him! It is as Tozer states, "That our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. … Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God. … The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems" (The Knowledge of the Holy).
God opened the doors and gates of Heaven itself to reveal Himself to me more than I have ever known or experienced before, and for that I praise His name!!! But He did this for more purpose than I could have foreseen! It was not only for His immediate praise, but also for future praise and adoration, to a fuller extent!
The purpose, as I know it now, was to set a foundation of LOVE in HIM, through CHRIST JESUS for me to fall back on when He began this intensive period of sanctification! Or another way to state it is a time of learning of much deep seated sin, buried deep down within me, in my souls in the far recesses of Adam. When the sin was revealed, He gave me the infinite cushion of His love to collapse into ... and then whispered those words that cannot be repeated enough times, "Adam, I love you!"
Its been a hard time, having sin revealed sucks! But it is good. Just like putting gold through the refiners fire, to burn away all the dross and impurities, that is what the Lord is doing in me now ... especially now! But on the flip side of the fire, the gold is beautiful and PURE! And for me that means eventually, on the flip side of eternity, I will be PURE too, just like my Jesus.
Ok, thats all for now. More about this journey to come!