Friday, June 3, 2011

For Michael & Sandy - Thank You!

This blog entry is an open letter to Michael and Sandy, dearest soul friends and fellow travelers on this road of faith, life and learning ~

I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am to you both for all that you have allowed God to do for me and my family through you. I am most grateful for your presence with me on this discipleship walk. The whole time we have known each other, more than 20 years, we have been on a journey to discover this one truth - that we are utterly powerless to accomplish anything of eternal value and that without God's power, nothing that means everything to us can ever be done. No longer are we on what we have perceived as an endless path of trying and failing, trying and failing, trying and failing.

By God's unfailing grace to us, we have come to understand what we thought would be a torturous reality, but which has turned out to be like water to our parched souls - we are helpless. Yes, we are smart and resourceful and strong and creative and perceptive...but we have sensed that our lives were made for more than the mere trinkets that come by our own gifts and abilities. We were made for life. For freedom. For love. And we are helpless.

The very thought of our helplessness used to feel like a millstone around our necks. Maybe sometimes now it still will. But we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if we are ever going to catch a glimpse of the abundant life that has been offered to us, we must accept it. We are helpless.

Our God, on the other hand, is not only all powerful, but He is overwhelmingly and intimately loving. Our helplessness is not the end, because God has met us in our weakness. In fact, the weaker we will admit to being, the more powerful He is able to be in our lives. So this is truly an exciting time!

No longer do we try and fail, watching our lives, our families, our loves pay the price. Now, instead of trying and failing, we are journeying. We are children in the hands of a attentive Father. We may fall, but there is no more failure. Which parent, when watching their child take a first step, calls it failure when the small one teeters and lands with a soft "poof" on a diapered bottom? We never did that to our babies, and if we rejoiced in our children's efforts, how much more does our Father in Heaven rejoice in ours? The wonder of it all is that as we discover and accept our own helplessness, the next great revelation is that it is okay that we are helpless! Now, when we topple over, it will be growth, not failure. We are growing because we are alive, not dying a little more each day as failure haunts our steps. We are alive!

My friends, the coming days will be ones of growth, and we all know that there will be growing pains. I know that we will do just as we have always done, encourage and lift up each other in prayer, word and deed. I love you both, and pray for you daily as I know you pray for me. There is a reason why the first thing God does after giving us Himself is to give us people to journey with. In the very deep, the inner court of our hearts where we meet God, we are utterly alone with Him. But He has made an outer court, which is shared with our family in Him. There are days when we don't feel as if we will make it to the inner court without the love and encouragement of others who tenderly guide us in. You have done that for me repeatedly. Thank you, my friends.

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2Corinthians 12:8-10
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