The breeze blew gently over my soul as I stood there taking in the scene before me, it was a moment when a change occurs imperceptibly…almost. When our horizon includes the masterpiece of His miracle played out in front of us, we may just forget to breathe…but we know that there is a moving within. I think it may be the expectation that there is a ‘bigger-than’ in our nearness, a ‘more-than-conceivable’ hovering close. It’s what I call God-moments. Where our choosing Him becomes the avenue of our healing and grace is more than a sacrifice… it is a catalyst for something bigger.
I find that the more we allow Him entrance into our weakened and broken spaces,all the more willing He is to show up and manifest Himself. And I love how God gently approaches us, in mercy and grace, always letting us be open to the wholeness He brings in His midst.
And suddenly, as we are finding Him anew, He reminds us of the calling He put on our hearts, the passion He deposits in our souls and the life-breath he breathes into our bones.
When I feel His presence, it is like a stirring in my bones, a consistent and ever present ache for more of God…more of His goodness in my midst. Right in this place where we sacrifice our world-wants, the wind of His moving scatters strands of eternity in a wisp before me and I can feel the shaking of my dry and parched soul. It is a breaking that paves the way for His healing love.
Sometimes we are like the bones in Ezekiel’s vision, scattered in the valleys of our regrets and losses. We lose sight of the promise that He etched in our yesterday; promises that are birthed with the spirit wind blowing on our dry and lifeless places.
“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” and I answered, ” O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, ” Prophesy over these bones, and say to them. O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin , and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”-Ezekiel 37:1-6
I have been thinking of these words in Ezekiel since as I watched my sister-in-law coax a smile out of our middle child for his senior pictures last week. His. Senior. Pictures. Where did time go? It feels like it was just a breath moment blowing by on the horizon. In mere seconds, the beginning converged upon the ending and I realized I have surpassed the climax of this part of the story, slowly descending into the let go. Memories of holding his little baby hands as he walked to this side-standing watching him run his race tumble in my mind. The days of watching him learn to now looking into the heart of the man he has the potential to become are full of so many emotions. It is impossible to contain the sigh of a grateful heart, even when it is breaking with the change.
It is a humbling place to settle, a God ordained sacred space, that grace constructs and invites us to make ourselves become acquainted with. More than a sacrifice that opens yet another door,it is the genesis to choosing more and more of His wholeness into our living.
These moments, the hard and the beautiful together, they are ultimately the catalyst for our choosing to praise God in all things.
These seconds, the existential morphing into mystical, they are the holy that manifests beauty in our seasons.
These glimpses, the glory passing by kind of seeing, they are sometimes brief but are life changing in their depth.
And the sacrifice of grace seems a little less difficult when I see it in the scheme of tomorrow’s promise, because it births His magnificent joy into our midst and we are made whole for the breaking.
But it isn’t always an easy transition, is it? Sacrifice towards praise, grace in place of the letting go.
Because we are so often lonely and waiting in our here and now, misunderstood or misunderstanding the promise that awaits. And our souls long, like dried bones, to be gathered out of our valleys, to be breathed into, to be put together, to be given life where death has taken over.
And yet sometimes, he asks us to wait upon the winds. To let ourselves be sifted by the trials that break our hearts only to cultivate them for the seeds he is blowing with His Spirit in our soul.
We need to expect as we are waiting, not just settle to be silent in the passing of time. If the blind man didn’t speak out on the road in his brokenness, he may not have been heard and then so soon afterwards experience the miracle of sight. He was looking beyond His horizon, even in his lack of sight state,because his heart knew the approach of the Author of all seeing. He was waiting with expectancy for the shifting that was possible, because vision is more than what we see.
And if we are not looking for the wind to move, we can’t see the tree limbs sway. If we are not waiting for the glory to rise, we miss the break of the dawn in our need. If we are not hoping for more of His fullness, we are satisfied with less than.
But when we know where it leads us, when we are heightened to the joy that dawns on the horizon of our sorrows, we are more than willing to let the sacrifice slip out in audible acceptance…and we are restored.
“The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves.” -John Piper
Being a mom… watching my children pass through the stages of life… has taught me the weight of sacrificial self-forgetfulness. Sometimes to the point of feeling my heart bust through my soul for the burden it can be. I wasn’t ready to wear that moniker when our first broke through the doors of our days, I was young and immature and unprepared for the well of emotions that could run a faulty human being dry. Likewise, I never knew that love could sweep through you like a tidal wave, wrecking the normalcy and bathing my world in splendor. Their days with us are short… they are like this wind that was blowing over me that day watching the willow tree sway and move as pixels were caught and a memory was inscribed in our timeline.
The memories, sometimes feel like the bones in the valley, resurrected when the photos bring to mind the events that stitched time into our lives. Sometimes it felt like I would break with the monotony of each day’s similarity in their toddling and our schooling, and just like the call of Ezekiel’s army these kids we grew are rising up and preparing for a new destination, a new battle ground, a transition into a new tomorrow.
And it is worth it because every journey with God has an outcome of blessing.
The sacrifice looks a little different now. A little more time on my knees battling the principalities that threaten to steal what has been so carefully planted. And yet, still, the giving up is work…it is soul-changing…it is exhausting. But there is a joy, a magnificent rendering of His breath into my heart. It is the side-standing kind of posture that looks to the Author and Finisher of our faith days and a solemn waiting for His beauty to be seen. It is the broken sacred waiting kind that pulls our eyes to look beyond what we see to the One who sees us. And in that moment we can release these dear ones that we love, these dreams that break us, these goals that tempt us and these idols that get between grace and our living.
Sometimes it takes a little breaking to see the splendor of His living in our #gracemoments. Where are you capturing grace in your sacrificing spaces today 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.