Monday, October 27, 2014

Of this I am convinced...

Last Thursday ended with my husband in ICU. All of a sudden.

At 7:30 pm he was fine, and by 9:00 he was in the ER with machines carefully measuring his malfunctioning heart, working to bring it back into order to avoid a stroke.

By Friday afternoon, he was released... his heart once again beating strong and steady... essentially back to normal health levels. He's back to work this morning.

It's odd for life to be so "normal" after something so serious and NOT normal has just happened. I suspect that people who walk away from a serious car accident without a scratch feel similar.  I am very grateful for modern medicine that knows how to bring down down a dangerously fast heartbeat, and I am grateful for my God who caused his heart to reset to normal rhythm.

But most of all I am grateful for my God who knew in advance what was going to happen at 8pm on 10/23/14. My God who was there with me driving home while this was happening and who was there in the ER and ICU with my husband. My God who is there for my kids, watching over their hearts and minds as they process this. My God who was oh-so-Present when I layed there at 2:00 in the morning, alone in our bed, but home for the sake of my kids who could not spend the night in ICU with Daddy and who didn't need to be home alone without either of us. My God who knows that the financial mountain this frail and weak daughter of His was facing is now many times larger. My God who is bigger than even THIS looming mountain. My God who knows what the doctors don't know... why this happened... and whose grace is sufficient for everything that all five of us need, both now and in the future.

In fact, my overwhelming emotion these last four days has been that I am grateful. I am thankful.  Oooohhh-so-thankful. I cannot express how much my heart was overflowing with thankfulness in the darkness of Thursday night, and how it still is, just because of who my God is. Again, I find myself understanding why He calls Himself the "I Am." Because there are no words big enough and marvelous enough and powerful enough to express everything that He is.

And there is no way to fully express how thankful I am that He Is everything that that He is, and everything that I need, have ever needed, and will ever need, regardless of what lies ahead of me.

I am far from the only one "going through stuff."  I can look around and see people going through divorce. Loss. Far bigger health issues than we just did. Far bigger financial issues than what we now have. Betrayal. Depression.

My heart aches to help them.

But of this I am convinced:

There is nothing more vital than knowing Him. Nothing.

Not knowing about Him. Not knowing the Bible or having hundreds of verses memorized. Not doing amazing things for Him. Not knowing how to receive perfect healing from Him. Not having my theology 100% correct. Not "standing for what is right in a fallen world." Not even reaching the lost and telling others about Him is more important than knowing Him myself.

For how can I accurately tell others about Him if I do not know Him myself? People know the difference when you're telling them about someone you've only heard about, compared to when you're telling them about someone you truly know.

How can we stand for what is right if we have not sought to know His heart? For His heart is the source of what is TRULY right... and His heart is filled with love and grace and mercy, given freely to overwhelm all that is wrong.

And what better, more accurate way to enrich our theology is there than to know the One whom it is all about? After all, theo means One... Him... not many studies and versions and interpretations given by others who may or may not truly know Him. Knowing about Him is nothing compared to truly knowing Him.

And doing things for Him is worthless unless He is the One doing it all... through those who knows Him.

Regardless of whether life has blindsided us, or whether it has sucked us into an unending mire... whether it's going great, or whether we're aching with the desire to help loved ones who are "going through it"... there is nothing more effective than seeking Him.

Nothing matters more than to know Him
because everything follows that.  
Everything.

He said it Himself, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added."  He said this right after He finished listing and going through things we seek and things we worry about.

Seeking Him comes with this promise:
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’

Thursday night, when my husband looked me in the eyes and said, "I love you" in that just-in-case-this-is-the-last-time-I-can-tell-you sort of way, this is was my security... that I knew my God.

Do you know Him?  If you have not met Him, can I introduce Him to you?

If you've heard about Him and don't much like what you've heard, will you consider that maybe what you've heard didn't come from someone who actually knew this God who said that He is Love?

And if you know Him some but have not experienced how He can overwhelm your struggles and difficulties and pain and guilt and loneliness... if the concept of watching Him face down your looming mountains isn't one that makes you smile... will you take my word for it if I tell you that He is so much more.  I've been discovering that He is more for over 20 years... and still He continues to show me even more and more. More wonderful. More powerful. More marvelous. More complete. More loving. More merciful. More lovely. More awe-inspiring. Overwhelming. He is more than enough. For everything.

He is more than enough when your husband is in ICU. He is more than enough when you're in the middle of a divorce. He is more than enough when your friends are deserting you.  He is more than enough when you have no way to pay your bills. He is always, always, more than enough... but He will never force all that He is on us. We have to seek Him. That voluntary act of the heart is us giving Him permission to enlarge our minds and hearts so that we are capable of knowing Him. Trust me... there is no way we can possibly know Him in our small-minded human-ness... He has to change us before we can even begin to comprehend all that He is.

And that is why He sent a Savior.

This is the glory of the gospel. And this is where Hope is.

I wrote six months ago:

He offers all of Himself... to you.

This is not something you have to do. It is not something you can do. You cannot ever "be happy" because you're supposed to. You can't even be happy in the depth of joy that I'm talking about because He died for you and you accepted Him into your life.

What I'm talking about is beyond knowledge and beyond a prayer and a decision because it's wrapped up in who He is.

And because of that, it is only found by those who seek Him. He said:

You shall seek Me, and you shall find Me, if you search for Me with all your heart.

"All your heart" means everything you've got in this moment. And after you fail and wander away and realize it and repent, it means everything you've got in that moment. And the next. And the next.

"All your heart" means giving whatever little you've got -- no matter how messed up you are -- to Him, in every moment that you come to Him in humility and repentance for the hours and days and weeks and months when you were holding back something or everything from Him.

He takes those moments, and His mercy flows through them to cover the rest of your life. And His mercies are replenished and start new every morning!

And then His grace flows so that the moments when you are holding back everything become fewer, and the moments when your heart is reaching for Him become more, and He begins to change your life from the thing you know right now into something that is beyond anything you've ever dreamed.

I know, because I live it.
If you don't know how to get there from wherever you're at, then email me. Or just get alone by yourself and say, "God help. I need You. Please show Yourself to me. You said You'd be found if I seek You. Show me how 'cause I don't even know that. I'm asking in Jesus' name, because I know that I can't come to You on my own merits. I'm not going to put any time constraints on You. I'm not going to tell You how to do it or when You have to do it. Do whatever you have to so that I can know You, because life is not worth living without You. Take all I am... this mess... and do what only You can do, 'cause I sure can't do anything with it. Help me."


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