We live in the mystery of being on earth knowing it should be as it is in Heaven, but somehow it isn’t. So, we live in the tension brought on by the cares, worries, stress and frustrations of the world in which we live.

It’s a tension we long to be free from. We have some vague inkling of how that works, but our fear keeps us stuck in the awkward balance of what is now and what might be coming.

Multiple lightning bolts on purple sky

We Are Afraid

We are human and we are afraid. We are grown adults and we are afraid. We are Christians, saved by grace and guaranteed a place in heaven, and we are afraid. We live in the mystery and we are afraid and yet we try our best to trust God because we know trust is an answer of some dimension that we must wrestle with.

Still, we are afraid of dying and we are afraid of living. We are afraid of failure and we are afraid of success that leaves us empty. We are afraid of not pleasing everyone we love, but we are not afraid of letting down the one person we should love the most. That person is us or is it God? How can we tell?

We live our lives trying to live up to a nebulous ideal being that we assume we will magically become one day and then every day and every moment in our lives will make sense. The difficulty is that enigmatic, illusive moment never appears for us or if it does, we don’t recognize it.

This Is Why You Are Here

We want something or Someone to sit us down and say, “Child, this is why you are here. This is who you are.” We long for it. It would put everything in alignment if that would just happen right now.

We try to manipulate things to make it happen. We wander through life trying hard to get ahead, striving to please everyone, overworking to do enough to feel like we have earned a spot in paradise forever.

Our trying is a pointless, endless jumble of threads, a web where we are trapped. Our spinning has made it impossible to find a way out and do that one thing we know we need to do.

That One Thing

We know that one thing will make all the difference. That one thing will set us free to soar on wings of eagles. That one thing will open our lives to the mysteries of the universe.

It is the one thing we fear. It is the one thing we can’t seem to do no matter how hard we try. That one thing involves giving up all of building our own personal  kingdoms. That one thing requires us to stop trying to control every outcome in our lives. That one thing moves us towards starting to live our lives for Someone else.

That one thing is to simply lay down trying to manipulate, plead and cajole the God of the universe to let our wills be done instead of His.

His Will Be Done

When things don’t happen to our liking we blame Him. We get angry with Him. We scream at Him. We rebel against what He gently tries to lead us to do.

All along He has been planning, orchestrating and directing good plans for us to give us that mysterious future and hope we long for. He longs to show us, but if He did we could not contain it. So He tries to gently lead us and still we object.

The dream, the purpose, the destiny God has for us so far exceeds anything we could request, hope or imagine in our wildest dreams. It goes beyond us. It goes beyond the universe.

That Mystery We Feel

That mystery we feel in the depths of our souls is our connection to the Spirit we cannot understand. It’s the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead. It’s the same Spirit who makes our earthly bodies His temple.

It’s the same Spirit who spoke and all of the heavens, the stars, the land, the seas, animals, birds, fish and even you and me came into existence.

That same Spirit lives inside us if we have accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our lives. We are connected to Him and yet, we live very limited, mortal existences.

There Is More

We dare not try to see beyond our bodies, our things and our money. To do so would be too hard, too mysterious, too complex.

Yet we know there is more. We know it and we long to be connected fully to that mystery that is God. Standing between us and Him are all the hurts, wounds, scars of our past.

We have shoved them down into the far basement cellar of our lives and tightly shut the door thinking we have them contained.

Unwelcome Belches and Foul Words

At unexpected and inconvenient times they choose to raise their obnoxious heads like unwelcome belches and foul words. We try to shove them back down, but they won’t be quiet without lots of unhealthy, cardiac-failure-producing food or alcohol or drugs or anything that gives us a temporary comfort fix.

The Spirit beckons us to open the those not-so-hidden doors and let the festering wounds, the hurts, the misperceptions, the lack of love, the abuse of role models, the jeers of siblings and friends begin to heal in the light of His presence. He beckons us to lay them all at His feet.

We have tried to bury them, to not admit they are there. We have tried to make them go away, but that only serves to make them scream louder. And they continue to run rough shod over our unsteady emotions.

Where Are You, God?

Why doesn’t God help me? I am hurting! I am writhing in a slimy pit of broken feelings and past hurts! Where are You, God?

He has been there all the time. Our difficulties and our attitudes have caused the disconnect. Not His.

He’s been patiently waiting for us to come to Him when we have reached the end of ourselves. He’s been waiting for us to want to reconnect to Him. He’s been waiting for us to understand that we need Him desperately.

The Deeper Journey

So we begin with halting, feeble steps towards Him. He welcomes us as in anguish we rip from our hearts our own self-effort, striving and control. We throw down our plans, our wills and our fleshly desires.

As we stare at the heap of what we have been holding onto, the stench is more than we can bear. We cry tears of relief as He consumes it all accepting our sacrificial offering of total surrender.

“Now, My Child, you are ready to start that deeper journey of faith with Me. On this journey your will no longer matters. You are now fully intwined with My will for your life.”

This Is The Day

This is the day we surrender all that we want, desire and crave to all that He wants for us. This is the day we abdicate our thrones and reinstate the true King as King in our lives.

This is the day we learn what true freedom really is. It’s not freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want, which leads us to allow substances, foods, drugs, people, things and desires to become strongholds, wrap us in chains and hold us in bondage.

This is the day we learn that true freedom is being free to follow the Spirit however and wherever He leads us. It’s not the day we understand everything. That day will come, but this is the day we learn how to live our lives in the wonder and the true mystery that is God.

This is the day we begin to trust Him completely. Your will be done, precious Savior. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

What do you need to lay down in order to take this deeper journey with God?

 

 

 

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has four more books, "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God." Sweet Grace and Sweet Freedom study guides are available as well. All books are on Amazon and under the book tab on her website. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab. Also check out her blog at TeresaShieldsParker.com.