Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How Big is your God?

Two years ago I wrote a post comparing myself to Jean Grey and a scene from an X-men movie. If you read that post, you know how disastrous that turned out.

Today, this week, the men have come to pack my home of almost 9 years, and we sign a paper that makes it someone else's home. We successfully nested our family of four in with my parents for the next three months, and my Savannah has been rocked by the change, "Moving is really hard, Mama," tears streaming down her little face. This has been a hard year for her little self, and my heart aches for her.

As for me? Well, this time around I'm not Jean Grey; I'm an Israelite leaving two years of Egypt with the Promised Land ahead, and right now in this moment of life, I'm smack dab in the middle of the Red Sea of Emotions.

The only thing holding back thousands of gallons of tears and anxieties stretching miles high on either side of me is a Great and Mighty God who says, "I've got this. You just keep walking in trust, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. I've got this."

And that's kinda the best picture I can paint of this transition period between what I've known as home and what God has before me--giant walls of impending doom of emotions that my God by His power alone is holding back, sparing me from destruction.

And I also trust that if the Egyptians of my past, the lies that kept me in bondage, I trust that if they try to follow me through this pass, they will meet their demise by my God's power alone as well.

By His power alone.

Can you even imagine being one of those Israelites? (Exodus 14) The enemy army is closing in behind you, threatening to drag you back into a life of slavery, but all that lies before you is an endless mass of sea and waves and uncharted waters. You cry out to your One True God, He gives the command, and the sea parts before your very eyes. It splits in two and parts before your very eyes. You did nothing, but cry out to God to save you, and this is His answer.

Can you imagine watching the walls of water rise higher and higher above your head as a dry path clears before you? Can you imagine walking in the valley before you, on the bottom of the sea you once only imagined how deep it could be, with sheer walls of water rising miles above you on either side, rippling against the invisible wall of God's Word--the only boundary holding them in place? Can you even imagine the fear, the awe, the wonder, the marvel....the trust it took to take those steps? To take your belongings,  your family, your children down that path?

Yet all God's children crossed safely to the other side. Not one was lost in the abyss.

That's where I am. In the middle of a trust walk of epic proportions, in the middle of my own Red Sea of Emotions. And praise the Lord, He is faithful to keep His promises!

I've shed a few tears here and there reminiscing over the memories shared in this house, over the laughter and fighting and squeals of children that echoed in the halls, over the changes that have taken place in myself and in Joey over the past 9 years. The couple who built this home are not the same two that sold it, and for that I give God all the glory.

No, I have been tempted to wallow, but then I would have learned nothing. No, my God is bigger and greater and more powerful than any emotion I can think about feeling, and by His power alone, in His presence alone, the emotion I feel mostly is joy, a deep abiding joy and peace that brings smiles instead of tears that urges me to keep trusting, keep believing that Jesus Christ is all I need yesterday, today, and forever.

And so I find myself in a place where I am extremely grateful to my God for going before me and flattening out the rough places, creating a smooth, straight path to follow in His steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I know that not every transition in life will be this smooth. I think I would be naive to believe that, but for me, in this stage of life, God needed to teach me that completely trusting in Him is it's own great reward. He also needed to show this doubting Thomas that trusting Him and experiencing joy in my life go hand-in-hand. You really can't have one without the other. The more control I take, the less I trust, the less joy I experience in the journey.

And one thing's for sure, when I'm in control,  I most definitely cannot hold back those deadly, rippling water walls of emotions. Only God can do that. With just a word, He can do that.

Maybe you find yourself in your own valley of the Red Sea. Maybe your emotions or relationships or circumstances threaten to drown you at any moment. I encourage you to praise the One who holds it all back, who beckons you to trust walk the path He has cleared before you, who has the power to hold it all at bay until you've crossed to the other side. Trust Him. Stop looking at the waves, Peter! (Matthew 14)  Have faith that your God is bigger and better and greater, and it requires of Him no effort to hold back those walls of whatever. No effort at all.

Which means He still has plenty of power and resources remaining to meet the needs of yourself and your family even in the midst of protecting you, even while you walk this path. AND He's walking with you because He promises never to leave or forsake you!

Wow. Mind blown. He's just Big. So big.

I know that either the Wilderness or the Promised Land waits on the other side of this transition...maybe both, but in any case, my life has forever been changed by giving up my rights to a God who has a much greater plan. My prayer for those faced with a similar choice? Choose to trust like an Israelite at the bottom of the Red Sea;  trust God, not yourself, not your talents, gifts, or incredible ability to handle things on your own.

Because any super power you may think you possess was given by a God who actually is Super-Natural and Omnipotent and Omniscient and Omnipresent and... REALLY BIG.

So Big. So big that He deserves all the praise and all the trust and all the faith we have to give, and where we lack, He fills in the gaps. How graciously big of Him:)

How Big is God in your life today? in this moment? Big enough to......... (you fill in the blank;) )

For me, He's big enough to keep my emotions in check, to give me joy and hope and peace in place of sadness or worry. And for me, that's HUGE.

(Begin music....)My God is so big and so strong and so mighty there's nothing my God cannot do!

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