Face to the ground, I searched, but the words would not come. How many times have I found myself here, searching for words to mirror my desperation? How many times have I felt a loss of purpose, of direction and passion? My heart strains to see past what is visible. I see fear. I see problems multiply and answers dwindle to nothingness.
I long to fix my gaze on things unseen, to see past circumstance. I long for peace. The depth of life reaches far beyond what the senses can perceive. Perhaps we owe it to ourselves to loosen our grip, if even a little. Fear is a choke-hold that is so often unseen. If we could only muster up the strength, the boldness, to face the fear, we could find the ability to let go. More than that, we could find the courage to believe bigger things. God never intends for his children to live so captive.
Somewhere along the way we started to believe a little lie that told us that healing is only temporary, that God does not ultimately rescue his children. That’s exactly what He wants to do. We are the only ones standing in the way of our own healing. The problem is, a large majority of the time we don’t even realize that we are. We lift up outstretched hands and an aching heart, expecting release, but we think we get to pick and choose what is released. In reality, for everything seen there is something remaining that is unseen. God specializes in both.
Peace, I’m learning, is an uncanny word. Peace is not avoiding chaos to obtain a constant calm. It’s something far different. I’m learning that it’s facing the very things that can and want to destroy you with a boldness and God-given strength. It’s standing up against the fear, the guilt, and the unworthiness. I honestly don’t like the idea myself. It requires examining old scars and realizing that you cannot truly hide a scar. It is those very scars that God can and wants to use to bring about something beyond what can be imagined. Our tragic attempts to conceal and deny our scars hinders healing.
This behind the scenes work is where we encounter the stagnation that we fear. We think that because God has not offered us the release or answers that we so desire He has neglected us completely. Why wouldn’t we? We trudge along, faking peace, holding back the pain, and accepting the lie that God doesn’t truly heal His broken people. He hears our cries and He takes what we offer, but behind the scenes He is up to something far greater.
Truth be told, ultimate freedom does not occur in this lifetime. Ultimate freedom is a process, and it can only be achieved outside of our human frailty. God, however, has no intention of allowing us to sit in our captivity. He wants to begin to truly free us now. I’m seeing this in my life one painful, yet beautiful, step at a time. The closer we draw to Him, the more honest and open we become in our paths to healing and freedom.
Writer and speaker Francis Chan once said that Satan hates action and change. Our paths to healing and freedom will be individual and will oftentimes contrast. It is essential that we hold the hand of the Father. This journey is so very opposed. It calls for unrelenting vulnerability. Vulnerability requires strength and courage because vulnerability invites good, but with the good comes pain.
God is asking some very uncomfortable things of me. He is asking me to look inside myself and allow Him to evaluate what is there. He is asking me to walk in the midst of fear and uncertainty. Fear grips the very heart of this, but I want His healing. I want to invite His freedom. I think that Psalm 139:23 was probing at something far deeper than I realized. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”