In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive our community of our healing gift. If we concede our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others. – Brendan Manning, Abba’s Child
The idea of healing grace has been a tempting morsel of thought for me recently. Contemplating the mercy of God coupled with His favor as it washes over the contrite and broken of this temporal shell we call home has penetrated my consciousness more than once this week. The older I get the more I realize just how temporal our time is. It is transient, passing, fleeting fast …and it feels like the crazy spinning that we emulate against the backdrop of the universe only speeds up the farther we go on this journey.
And we fail to let ourselves catch a breath or to humbly ask to stop, because if we show weakness or imperfections, we feel like we have missed something important. We often feel less than in our limitations and we hide those spaces rather than run into grace for a filling of His love.
Rest resurrects grace.
The word REST has been a resurrecting notion for me this summer, which is ironic, because it took till I was in the middle of my living that I began to appreciate the art of this simple blessing. I am still learning, though, because rest has never come easy to me.
And when I speak of healing, resurrected by time resting in Him, it is more than the physical, it is the soul-deep emotional that is pulling at my heart. This healing takes the weakened and breaking and makes it whole, not just on the outside but the reconstruction He manifests on the inside… it is a beautiful thing. He provides a way for our souls to find hope for recovery and restoration, a healing He stirs within is available. It is God-ordained, this miracle of grace that He orchestrates over our bodies in mercy, and it reclaims the broken pieces that have left us waiting and wanting by meeting us in the love that grace demands.
So many times we are running without logging the miles, helpless to change the circumstances that overwhelm our weary souls, but rest is the path He leads us down to bring restoration. He calls out to us in the waiting room of life and reminds us that we have His fullness for our lack and His goodness for our loss. He meets us here, actually looking for us and seeking our receptive hearts. He’s in the business of resurrecting life from death, friends.
When less than allows us to fill up on love, we wait in the power of resurrected hope.
Sometimes it starts with simply acknowledging that you are in need, that you have hurt, that you are weary, or that you feel broken. It certainly isn’t an easy admission to make, to confess feeling less than whole… but I am starting to consider the value of being less than and simply available to be filled up by the power of His love.
Because suffering is a hard topic to address, and it seems like grace may be far from us when we are hurting. But there is a precious truth we need to see, suffering brings us closer to the heart of the Father, and we are not alone when we feel decreased by life. In fact, we are waiting on the power of resurrected hope.
When grace demands love to bleed into to our less than spaces we are changed… healed in our souls… which radiates throughout our bodies in a manifestation of mercy.
1 Peter 4:12-19 talks about the reaction to our broken road walking. In fact, vs. 12 reminds us not to think it strange that trials and difficulties find us, but rather we are told to expect them. Further in the chapter, vs.16 reminds us to never let shame be our garment, but rather a robe of praise should be our intentional dress. We are called to glorify God in our weakness, so that He can be our strength. We are called to rejoice in our trials, so that He can perfect us. We are called to a Sabbath rest in our journey, so that He can be our hope experience. (Romans 5:3-5)
Sometimes I don’t feel like raising that banner and shouting hallelujah in the rock hard place of weariness. The days when chronic illness, disability, or loss seem to be a more present reality…a soul can weaken and become apathetic in its pursuit of praise. On days like this my soul needs a healing rest to restore and to recover from the buffer life brings…and sometimes I need an invitation to take that rest willingly.
Are you needing a bit of soul healing today, friend?
The Lord is reminding me that rest is a prerequisite to the manifestation of this healing He is performing on the broken places in my deep spaces.
Perhaps you are there, too? The dead raised to life but finding the scales of the old still wounding the new. I think about the parable of the new wine poured in old wine-skins when I think of life poured into broken vessels… and I wonder why aren’t we made whole body, soul and spirit from the moment of salvation? Of course, I know that we are being sanctified as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, but to be honest, I want the easy way. I don’t enjoy the struggle so much. And this topic of sanctification is enthralling to me, I don’t totally get it, but the more I learn of His grace, the more I see the tendrils of hope that He holds out for us to grasp when we look through the lens of suffering and grace.
Sanctification, our obedience to His call, changes us through His finished work on the cross…it is all His doing. Likewise, healing requires a resting in Him and a willingness to obey when we hear His voice. Never the easy way, but the right way…His Way.
Sabbath Healing: Rest, Recovery, Hope
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts blessing and favor], who has called you to His own eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, strengthen and settle you.” -1 Peter 5:10
Perhaps the whole purpose of the continual journey and the resting in Him is more about the actual journey…the time spent getting settled and strengthened, securely grounded and established as we ought to be, completed….perfected…by grace’s work within.
Because In Him our time is not the same as the ticking clock we keep track of. Every second in His presence is life-giving, life-restoring, life-sanctioning. He is always the author of this Sabbath healing inspired by rest. He is the curator of hope and the renovator of rescue.
In the 5th Chapter of the Gospel of John we can read about a Sabbath healing. He stirred more than the water in this lesson about resting, recovery and hope. There were a great number who lay waiting, watching the water to see if it would move, looking intently for a change to be the first to step in, the first to receive the hoped for healing. More than one man could have been healed and it didn’t take a leap of faith into the water to see it happen.
However, their eyes were on the vehicle , not the source. And sometimes we do that, too, and we miss out on the blessing that recovered grace in our broken space provides for us and those in our sphere of influence.
There was one man, though, with whom Jesus asked a rhetorical question that I think had more to do with his soul than his physical ailment. “Do you want to be made whole?” ( John 5:6) And again, I see the parallel of unbelief bound up in the losses we focus on each day.
In the world of soul-wants, we are all waiting for a cure. But Jesus offers another way…and He is still asking us what we want.
When we find our rest in Him, we can easily raise up in the healing He intends for us to receive. We get up from positions of helplessness where we depend on people, things or circumstances to bring about restoration for our souls, and instead, depend fully upon His ability to complete, strengthen, establish and settle our hearts in wholeness.
When we give in to the rest He provides, instant revival begins in our hearts. Though we don’t always see it, and though we may need a reminder of our appointment with grace, before long… recovery, healing, hope, wellness, become the pieces we own on the journey and we are being changed by grace in the depths of our soul.
In Him, resting secure, we are able to heal soul-strong so that we can pick up and go fully healed, fully whole, fully restored by grace.
Where are you finding #GraceMoments in your trials and suffering this week friends?
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.