Seasons – These Times We Are a-Suffering

Sometimes I wonder if, in the time God chooses to bring about His justice in a situation, He doesn’t also bring us (offender and offended) to the spiritual maturity to be ready for it when it comes. You know that period of time I’m speaking of? That period that seems to be stretched out like an elastic band as we impatiently wait for some sort of light on the horizon; while our spirits and minds and hearts remain crushed or tied up in knots? Well, I wonder if He doesn’t use the substance of this very chapter within His timing to our benefit; to guide and bring us to a place where we can genuinely accept and cooperate with Him when His justice dawns.

I wonder … It’s as if the (often painful) process of waiting contains a process within itself: a curriculum that follows a course designed to ready us for that Bright Day we ache to see, but one that entails steps that include the eviction of the poisons that infect our hearts and minds and spirits. And much like the regimen of any healthcare provider worth their mettle, our Gardener will expulse these contaminants by gently pressing on the super-sore-tender-spots to release and drain the toxic pus within so true regeneration can begin. He doesn’t do this for perverse pleasure, but so there instead can be bona fide healing upon which proper renewal and revival can soak into our hearts and minds and spirits, setting aright whatsoever has tripped up and wounded our bearings. Maybe readiness for His reparation requires complete absence of the foulness of septicity for it to be well-grounded and on solid footing.

Perhaps once there is no more ooze, only then I am really ready. Could it be too that at that precise moment (when perhaps all is aligned on all sides by Him?), His ruling takes place, and likely in a way more complete than I could have possibly imagined – and actually welcome?

Still, surely the Gardener’s Hand is in every moment leading up to that. It must be His Love that prods me toward that maturity. It must be His Hand pressing, solely because He so wants Health for us; wants that vile poison that clouds, that darkness that shrouds fully absent and far removed from us even more than we do, so we can spring forward in cooperation with His goodness!

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8: 22-23)

sunsetWe need only glimpse at just about any newsfeed to know that we all share in the common denominator of suffering. Whether hidden or copiously obvious, each of us have an or many infected abscess(es), and judging by the groanings and cries resounding in this world founded deep in the hearts of offended and offender, I wonder and even dare to think our Father might surely be pressing on them – pressing not because He is mean, but because He longs to bring us relief, to heal us and make us whole. And with each press, we have a choice. Do I put my hand over it, rub it or stir it up and generate more poison, more infection? (and just how, do tell, does this serve me longterm?) Or do I take my hand off and let our God move in to press it all out and away?

But while He aches in our suffering, while He never turns away from us, still He remains a gentleman, urging and prodding and allowing us the choice to ease off, to relent and allow Him to step in. So, I wonder if the longer I hold my shaking hand over or rub the sore, the longer it will take …??  Hmm … Imagine though! What might happen when I remove my hand from that blistering boil? I do remember a like situation when I was suffering terribly as a child, in a lot of pain; even so I kind of did and I didn’t want the doctor to step in and help provide relief… But oh, when she did! So here too, sure there will undoubtedly be a bout of pain, but it will soon be followed by immense relief, and joy-filled thankfulness, and ahhhhh, freedom! And right then, we become at once renewed as we are a part of that renewal, at once rejuvenated as a part of pouring in rejuvenation, at once receiving Life as a one shining with it!

So maybe, just maybe, however soon we are to see restitution and resolution has a lot to do with us, with how soon we release our trembling hand that protects and defends the ulcer to God’s gentle, tender and mighty Hand … ?

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8: 24-25)

Your days of grief will come to an end. I, the Lord, will be your eternal light, more lasting than the sun and moon. (Isaiah 60:20)

Isaiah 26Lord God, we are not puppets to You. No. We are your children. And You are our Loving Father – not loving us as the world calls or does love, but as our hearts and spirits ache and groan for. And yet, you love us even more than that! And in that very Love, your eyes are transfixed on us, and your Heart breaks as it sees our brokenness, our woundedness, our tender sores swollen with poison. Oh Father, how you run to heal comprehensively! Help our hearts to hear yours, to know Your safety and to lift our hands away from these open and oozing lesions that we tremble to defend and cover. Help us to see the Love and tear-filled determination in Your eyes as You lay your tender Hand upon each one’s surface and begin to gently press out the poison. Grant us the strength and the determination to stay the course, to keep our ears open to your Voice and eyes on Yours so that we come to smile and rejoice with You as the healing sunrise dawns on fuller Kingdom character and the glory, Your glory, of across-the-board renewal. Amen.

Soil and Seed