HIS FACE IN MY JOURNEY
A Transaction with Heaven (My Trophy)
"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." Psalm 18:32
When we hit rock bottom - when we are completely helpless and hopeless - we finally give our complete attention to
God. My pastor calls this the "gift of desperation." Cancer brought me to this place. It was dark, and it wasn't fun. But I got
to see God's face, and that part was a gift. I spent a lot of my time with God. In His word, praying, listening and dancing to worship music, journaling, conversing with Him, prayer walking, resting in His creation. The time with God during cancer was the most intimate time I have ever experienced. I felt His presence like the sun on my skin. His breath was like crisp dew on my cheek. His voice a tender whisper in my ear. His strength a comforting embrace. He captured every tear with His bare hands, and bathed me with His love.
As I began to recover, I sensed the Lord preparing my spirit that indeed this was a special time when His eyes were on me. It was a time of refinement that would only be for a season. He wasn't going to leave me - He is always with me - but I was not going to remain in the heightened state that connected me to the spirit realm like an umbilical cord. Rebirth would come. This was only for a season.
After my recovery, establishing a new normalcy in my relationship with God proved challenging. Over time, I found myself struggling with internal issues from my past that had resurfaced. I have always known that God wants our relationship not our performance. But as our level of intimacy shifted, I lost confidence in the relationship and unwittingly fell back on old ways of thinking. I subconsciously began to rely on myself again, stealing control of things I had relinquished to God. And, oh what a failure I was! I became haunted by the consequences that could come as a result of my imperfection and inadequacy, like the people who wouldn't get saved because I didn't pray right, or my children whose spiritual growth would suffer because I didn't teach them enough. For weeks, I stayed stuck in the cobwebs of my heart, alone and frightened, wrestling with God like Jacob. Until one warm, bright, peaceful, beautiful spring morning, when I met with Jesus.
I had no agenda but to spend time in the psalms, praising God for who He is. A passage there
led me to 1 John and in an instant, the Lord led me back into His flow of love. He showed me that
I had been holding my time of intimacy with Him during cancer as a trophy on my shelf, as if it was a
once-in-a-lifetime achievement. I was proud of that trophy but fell into it's trap of believing that I could
never be that intimate with God again unless - of course - I had cancer...
Through the scriptures, the Lord diverted me from the illusion of that trophy and back into His flow of love. His love was the key I had forgotten, and it was where I would find all of the grace and mercy that I needed for everything. I didn't have to fear the mistakes or wrong choices I might make because God would make my way perfect. All I had to do was to follow Him, to remain in His love by staying firmly attached like a branch to it's vine (John 15:9), and to trust that His love would be more than enough. A supernatural transaction took place as I gave the Lord my trophy and He replaced it with fresh confidence in our relationship.
When we seek God - just seek Him for who He is - without any agenda other than to be with Him and love Him, He meets us where we are and generously lavishes upon us what we don't even realize we need...