“You must learn how to fly before you can run.” Confused? I remember leaning against the half escaping blanket as the cocktail of clothing and miscellaneous objects beautifully cluttered the floor. The organized mess mirrored the aura that seemed to clumsily descend as the words spilt into our conversation: “You must learn how to fly before you can run.”

“What does that mean?”

We were a good 48 hours into the new year. Way passed the “godly hours” of night, we pondered on moments experienced and gazed towards what was to be, then, the New Year. Challenged to go further, seek deeper and pursue harder, our hearts were eager to pounce onto the God band-wagon, “ready” to go where He would want us to go (1). There was a buzzing anticipation sparkling in each eye as thoughts of the journey ahead tugged on our being. And that is when we heard it. Streaming from the mouth of one of His children, the words sank into the pores of our skin attempting to find its way, and its home, into our hearts. The bustling vibrancy seemed to settle for a moment: “You must learn how to fly before you can run.” An elephant sheepishly walked into the room (figuratively speaking). We begged the million-dollar question: “What does that mean?”

Reason and experience has taught a great multitude of us that our human anatomy does not harbor the frame-work that enables us to lift from earths gravitational pull as the eagles do. Though Peter Pans fantastical façade is one we may have only dreamt about, our present reality are our feet. With them we stand. With them we walk. With them we run. How do we expect a non-winged creature to fly? How does a baby that can barely run (let alone walk) soar the sky with its feathered companions? The answer is simple. It cannot. Unless, however, a “winged carrier” is used.

“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself”- God

Exodus 19:4

Have you been running or have you been flying? Every time a person responds to Gods call to journey with Him, they would soon realize the feebleness and frailty of their human frame. “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted (2).” Our best resolve to follow the Lord, even amid earnest sincerity, falls short when our “carrier” is ourselves. God is not looking for those that are strong and fit. He is not looking for those that are able to “run” on their own. God is looking for those with hearts like children; those who negate their “strength” and “tenacity” to be thrown in the air by Abba. He is looking for those which He Himself can carry on His wings as they rest in His power, authority and might. When our dependency is fully thrust on God, we enter into an illustrious realm of awe and wonder. It is in that place where true strength is realized; strength that is founded solely on Him. As Oswald Chambers put it “Let the attitude of life be a continual ‘going out’ in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God (3).”

The countdown to another year is yet another way of God whispering to our souls that “the journey continues on.” We know not of the victories and tribulations ahead; of the pleasure and pain; of the tears and laughter. But what we do know is this: God. Will you run on your own? Or will you fly with Him? Happy New Year.

“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.” – Deuteronomy 32:11-12

At His Feet…

References

1.Ruth 1:16

2.Isaiah 40:30

3. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

November. Running my usual errands, I stepped onto the streets of Blantyre. The tar marked road glazed as the people trudged through. The cries of the minibus conductors solicited for the people’s money as each passer-by made their desperate attempts to trek through the scorching heat of the sun. I could see it on all of their faces. I could hear the mantra within me: “Kodi mvula ibwera liti (when will the rains come).” The suns kisses, coupled with the keen hugs of the humid air, throttled the temperaments of my fellow countrymen. Work now seemed to be a tad bit slower. The notion of blankets was border-line bizarre. The anopheles’ mosquito seemed to buzz a little louder as the clammy night erased the suns beams. I could see the street vendors rummaging for shade as the mid-day sun grinned at them. Those who seemed to be most successful were those selling water in their small plastics as our neighboring counter-parts saw it opportune to tantalize us with their thirst-quenching delectable: Frozy. The “clouds” pitifully stared from their headquarters. There was no sign of rain.

Kodi mvula ibwera liti…

I woke up the next morning (sleeping on top of my sheets). The air seemed to have gained a couple of pounds. I sat in my room trying to map out my day. I re-positioned myself and new exactly what I was going to do. I slept. Woken by my inner “lunch time” clock, I quickly freshened up and shuffled my way to the cafeteria. I got back to my room. Lunch seemed to be most rousing as I slothfully picked at bits of my food. I lay on my bed (tempted to sleep again), as my mind cascaded in circles. A good two hours walked by. Looking around my room I noticed something. It was darker. The curtains were semi-closed. Drawing them apart I looked from my bedroom window. A thicket of clouds overwhelmed the once blue sky. They looked heavy. They looked daunting. A tinge of darkness blanketed the city as the stillness of the air hovered amidst. One drop. Two drops. The pavement soon began to grow freckles as the miniscule drops of rain painted hope on the scorching ground. The heaviness seemed to momentarily lift as the gush of rain poured out on the thirsty ground. The hail smacked the earth as my dorm-mates stood over the balcony with hearty contentment. Rain!

“I wonder whether the rain will really come…”

Every year, for as long as anyone can remember, people, both young and old, dig the earths powdery ground, planting seeds of crop and seeds of hope. The 5am rooster cockles at an empty house as the kids and parents form lines in the ground with no sign of rain. Though the seven-year-old may question the need to plant, and though the scorching heat daunts mercilessly at each thrust of the plough, deep down, with desperate assurance and hope, they know the rain will come.

I’ll be honest. Sometimes I’m like that seven-year old kid. I wonder whether the rain will really come; whether God will really show up. Like the servant of Elijah we gaze at the sky looking for the palm sized cloud that will whisper a glimmer of hope into our being. And as we look for the seventh time it seems that the only clouds forming are those that shadow our faith. Yet the Lord, in gracious strength, tells His seven-year-old children to keep planting: planting seeds of faith, seeds of prayer and seeds of obedience. It seems pretty nonsensical to plough in the heat when the unseen rain seems worlds away. Yet God delights to work in the unseen. He desires to see the precious faith which He has given you manifest itself in the scorching heat overshadowing the sun’s rays of doubt and fear. More than the fruit of our faith, He desires to grow the faith of our fruit. He keenly wants you and me to believe. He wants you and I to build the arc even though we have never seen rain. He wants you and I to press through the wilderness though we have never seen Canaan. He yearns with holy intensity that you and I see Him. For when we do, our souls will collide with this spellbinding truth: His rain never fails.

“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” Hosea 6:3 

At His Feet…

Candlelit dinners are romantic (relatively speaking). With the right musical ambiance, starry eyed gazes, and perfectly timed silence, it paints the picture perfect night smothered in love-sick goodness. However, when the candles seem to make a faithful appearance onto the dinner table (and living room floor- and any sort of floor for that matter), then perhaps the idealistic romantic façade was nothing short of a power cut.

Over the past couple of weeks’ social media has been flooded with a torrent of endless memes, sarcastic remarks and pure frustration over the current (pun-intended) power outages. It seemed that many shared great comfort that the darkness they were experiencing was a common phenomenon experienced by many alike (humanity thrives on shared trial). I, on the other hand, was oblivious to the complaints of my fellow country-men. Studying at a public institution, were power-outages occur as often as the lunar eclipse, makes one to be progressively unmindful of what is happening in the outside world. My personal sentiments failed to fully empathize with what was going on around me. The fluorescent beaming of my light bulb was my norm. That soon, however, changed.

“It will soon become your norm”

I had just finished my first final year module- with just three more to go- and had packed my bags to journey to the “outside world” for a week’s break. It didn’t take long. I too began to sense the sarcastic remarks creeping out of me as the light escaped the bulbs and darkness flooded the rooms. I would often wake up to a five percent phone battery life with little hopes of getting it charged. The power-cuts became irksome. The absence of power became real. There was a particular morning, however, when I woke up and found the fan on. I quickly rummaged myself out of bed and soon saw, with astonishment and confusion, the beaming of the light bulb. I was not sure what to make of this new development. The sun had been up for a couple of hours. Afraid to be overly disappointed, I quickly talked myself into believing that the load shedding would soon occur. It was suddenly lunch time. The pots and pans scraped the hot plates of the electrical stove. Midafternoon. Before I knew it, it was night. The power was still on. I messaged my younger sibling on my fully charged cellphone, relaying my deep seated confusion over the ongoing electricity. We laughed and chuckled. It seemed strange to have the power on all day. As I shuffled to the living room, a different sort of light lit within my mind. How remarkable was it that a few days were enough to brainwash my mind into thinking that power cuts were a norm? Many of us may attest to the impending feeling of “doom” as we anticipate the switching off of the power (and when it does not happen we are greatly surprised). As an old saying goes “if you tell a lie many times, it soon sounds like the truth.” If you are in the darkness long enough, it will soon become your norm.

We become okay with being just okay”

What is your norm? What is my norm? Norm is often measured by a paradigm or set standard by which all experience and supposed “truth” can be held against. I often think of the eagle that grows amidst chickens or the lion that grows amongst the cats. Ignorant of their identity, they “flourish” in the norm that has been presented before them. The result? A giant living in a stunted body. When God saved the children of Israel from Egypt He introduced the norm which they had longed to see: A God who answers prayer; a God who delivers His people from the evil one; a God who is mighty and fierce. Yet, when shrouded with doubt, they quickly turned to the norm of their slavery, reminiscing their daily garlic and forgetting their daily bread (manna). There are two norms that wrestle with our being: the norm of the world and the norm of God. Many attempts are thrown our way to discard God (if even that were possible) and any sort of ideology of Him from our mind and human experience. Sadly, this often creeps into the Christian walk. We curl up into our little comfortable cocoons, accepting what God does not accept as “normal.” We become okay with our minimal hunger for God. We become okay with our busy schedules that displace our times of prayer. We become okay with the “little” sins in our life. We become okay with being just okay. Yet God is looking for worshippers: worshippers that are hot and not lukewarm; worshippers who will sacrifice the norm of this world in order to be fully immersed in the norm of God. When Jesus Christ came, He introduced a new norm; a norm that had existed before time itself. His desire is for you and I to be baptized, fully drenched and immersed, in God, so much so that when the world sees us, they see abnormal beings (perhaps aliens). And that when He sees you and me, He see children (for I shall be their God and they shall be My people).

So what is your norm? What is your darkness?

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”    Romans 12:2

At His Feet…

 

I made my way down to the corridor. Bumping into some familiar friends, we carried the dinner that piled on our plates and stood beside the flight of stairs. None of us seemed to mind (or care) about the unconventional seating plan and humid ambiance (it was early November- the Malawi “summer” had kindly eradicated Junes “chiperoni” breeze). It was clear that our heads needed a momentary escape into a world where the only seemingly pressing agenda was nothing. The verbal rendez-vous picked up in laughter and nostalgic memories of past experiences. A fair number of us had embarked on a new chapter whilst the others were on the verge of finishing. Eager to know how the story ends, we probed mercilessly at the finite details of life’s book so that we may be better “prepared”. It was blatantly obvious that no amount of “reading” could adequately ready us for the chapter ahead. The pile on the plates diminished. The feathery air soon became weightier as tales and silent observations of human archives unraveled themselves, piling heavy sentiments on our hearts. We were all on a journey. A journey that hoped for wonder, adventure and a little more. Reading ahead from the others, it was flawlessly clear that the road ahead was not a one-man trip. It had people. I gleamed forward thinking about the shoves and pushes I’d need along the way. Admittedly or not, both they and I needed a support system (“if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” [1]). The wanting of a helping hand and authentic cheer from life’s camaraderie’s seemed ideal. And that is when the elephant walked in. Across the “dinner floor” bloomed sagas of unmet expectations from those who promised to hold them up. The somberness in their voice echoed disappointment yet it was not cemented in hurt. They all seemed to attest to the disenchantment that faithfully follows the “shortcomings” of our flawed relationships with those around us. Nonetheless, like a sunrise at dusk, and with deep seated conviction, they unanimously echoed their seemingly unwavering disposition: “we know they mean well.”

“the best of their abilities but not the best of our expectations”

Love; the epitome of our human experience culminating in joys that seem beyond our galaxy. Yet we find ourselves toppling from its summit, landing flat on our hearts when the displeasure of disappointment and failure seem to stream from those we love. It is quite disheartening when it appears that we are the only ones holding our end of the stick. Whether friend, sibling or spouse, our hearts feel discouraged when those we love fail to express the sentiments we expect from them. Unfulfilled promises and unmet expectations soon fulfil our conceived ideology of who they are. As moments turn into days and days into years, the walls erect themselves clouding the love we so desired. The damage is real. The hurt is palpable. I’ll admit that there are those who are abusive in their sentiments and whose end of their stick is never touched let alone held. Yet, there are those who mean well. Those who do hold their end of the stick to the best of their abilities but not to the best of our expectations. Failure to express does not always equate to the absence of love. It may not even be a failure to express love on their end but a failure to rightly perceive on ours. Our pre-conceived ideas (whether good or bad) have a tendency of creating an ideal that clouds the rays of sunshine from touching our skin. Ever felt like God does not love you? Have you ever asked yourself why? Often times it stems from a mismatch of what is in our minds and what is true. “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?…I cry by day, but You do not answer…Yet You are holy…You are He who brought me forth from the womb [2].” Though David’s mind felt that God was far because of his unwanted predicaments, which appeared unmet, truth told Him that God was readily there for Him. What if, perhaps, the rays of love we so wish to see and feel, are clouded by our expectations creating shadows of doubt and discontentment on our end? What if they really do mean well? What if they really do care? As the mist clears and as the clouds partition we come to this shattering yet restoring truth: the sun was always shining behind the clouds [3].

God has placed people in our lives who genuinely and authentically hold our hands; people who love on us even in our most unlovable state. In a broader sense, He does this to remind us daily of the great love He has for us. Let them love you. Let God love you.

At His Feet…

References

  1. African Proverb
  2. Psalm 22:1,3,9
  3. Unconditional (2012), Film

 

What “Inside Out” taught me

The visiting lecturer got up from her seat and headed towards the laptop. The projector beamed forward. I half expected a short clip on the ins and outs of child psychiatry (it was a few weeks in and most of us -or perhaps just me- were still crawling out of holiday fever). What had emerged on the projector screen, however, was short of what had defined my conventional academic expectation for “video time”. Showing at the front of the class was a movie trailer!

Inside-Out-Emotion-Poster-Collaboration.jpg

I got a hold of the movie “Inside Out.” Disney’s animation seemed to successfully wheel me in beyond the two-minute tempting’s of their well-engineered trailer. The story began with a little girl named Riley. She, however, was not the center-piece of the movie- her mind was (also known as “headquarters”). Headquarters was run by five personified emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger (they were, in a sense, her “alter-emos”). Their core mission (every pun-intended) was to “appropriately” guide Riley through life’s rollercoaster of emotional frenzies. I laughed (Joy maybe?) and childishly giggled at the creative humor portrayed by these five characters. With just a couple of minutes into the movie I could already tell that Joy was the dominant leader of the pack who was always keen to make Riley smile at any given moment. Disgust, Fear and Anger had their fair share of the limelight too as they each wrestled at Headquarters control pad (Riley’s mind) attempting to bring out the “best” distaste, fear and anger that a girl her age could have. All but one, however, seemed to have that charisma. All but Sadness. Sadness (she) appeared to be, more often than not, the party-pooper of emotion-ville (she knew how to get the tears rolling). Joy’s passive aggressive attempts to keep Sadness at bay failed miserably as she always managed to trail behind Joys happy mantra. Yet, towards the end of the movie, Joy realized that her unwanted camaraderie with Sadness may in fact be the one she needs the most. As little Riley pitched herself on the bus, ready to run-away from her new home, her emotions seemed to not know what to do. She had recently moved to a new town where her family ties were not as tight nor her friends as close. As the bus took off, Fear, Disgust and Anger wallowed in their failed attempts to bring Riley back home. Joy began to see that her happy aura was not always the immediate solution to every pickle. And that’s when Joy called Sadness. And that’s when I saw how the unwanted emotion of Sadness may perhaps be one of our least treasured but necessary gifts.

“There’s a time to weep and a time to laugh”

I hate being sad. I detest moments of somberness where situations around me (and within me) corner me in an ocean of despair. Its funny (not really) how at one moment we can be on top of the moon and the next feel like we are walking six feet under, dead in our misery. I (and I’m sure many others) would be the first to advocate against the pangs of sadness and its faithful kill-joys. But what if you were told that the trials that you are facing were reason enough to be joyful? What if you were told that the dark cloud that seems to rain on your every parade was actually working towards your good- towards your joy? There’s a time for everything. There’s a time for every event under the sun. There’s a time to weep and a time to laugh. There’s a time to mourn and a time to dance [1]. One would consider this to be a “holy oxymoron” (remember the words of James? “Consider it all JOY…when you encounter various TRIALS” [2]). I don’t think God is inviting us to wallow in our despair nor is He asking us to live a life of utter sadness (even before Jesus faced the darkest moment of His life, His message of joy to His followers remained the same). What He is saying is that irrespective of what has, is and will happen to us, He is sovereignly in control of everything that may daunt our path. Whether Sadness or Joy, each season of our lives has a fruit which God keenly desires to be birthed in us (“knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”). His hand graciously guides us (and graciously hold us) as He (and not our emotions) faithfully guides us on the path He has set for us.

What season are you going through? What emotion seems to dominate? Let God bring out the perfect fruit.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

PS: As for the ending of Riley’s story? Well…

At His Feet…

References

  1. Ecclesiastes 3:1,4-5
  2. James 1:2-4

It was a quarter-past-too-late after midnight. Dad had told us to get to our rooms and hit the hay (the irksome mosquitos seemed to be a credible reason to hide beneath the sheets). Sibling and I lingered around the table a little longer catching up on what siblings often catch up on (nothing). The midnight musing was a mish-mash of topics and ponderings whose trailing I cannot properly recall. Sibling stood across the table as I peered from the other side. Siblings mouth opened.

“I get scared when I have nothing to pray for”

My mind came to a speedy halt. Sibling had spoken. I did an inner surveillance of my unwanted needs and needed wants. My inward struggles seemed to creep up whispering sarcastic suggestions of “you can pray for me too!” I began to hear the words beneath sibling’s words. Sibling was not proposing the ideology of lengthy petitions that leave the church prostrate (asleep) nor was sibling insinuating that the absence of requests is “unspiritual.” The layers of the conversation peeled off.

“I always need Him. Even when my mouth cannot echo the deep sentiments of my hearts needs, I KNOW and NEED to be reminded that I need Him”- Siblings ‘words beneath words’

Vulnerability is an art which, often times, we are afraid to be skillful in. “I need help” are the three words that knot the contents of our inner-self, yet, when uttered humbly, release the freedom we’ve been longing for. We, perhaps more seemingly than what meets the eye, have baggage. Collectively, admittedly or not, carry skeletons that seem to aggressively latch onto our picture perfect façade. Every human being, at some point or another, will feel the frailty of their skin and the weakness of their resilience. I for one get irked when faced with the unedited, unscripted and unappealing parts of me. Though “picture perfect” may be the life we eagerly chase for, Gods perfect picture is of weakness coupled with grace for in that picture His power is perfected. God takes pleasure in not just lending out His hand or wisdom but His entirety. The needs and desperate desperation that cries within us are calls from an all-powerful God who rescues when His frail creation calls out to Him in sincerity and faith.

“Satan’s main strategy with Gods people has always been to whisper, ‘Don’t call, don’t ask, don’t depend on God to do great things. You’ll get along just fine if you just rely on your own cleverness and energy.’ The truth of the matter is that the devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and credentials. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we lift up our hearts to God…He will intervene on our behalf, and we will know that He has done it.” (Ps Jim Cymbal, author of “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire)

What is it that you need? What troubles your heart? What weights tug heavily upon your heart? Call upon the name of the LORD. He is an ever present help.

At His Feet…

I remember sitting there as the words of this man gushed from his mouth echoing the deep seated sentiments of his heart: “We are not albinos. We are people with albinism.” I remember the recollection of stories of the unwanted stigma and ignorant rejection that pricked at his skin as he trekked the thorny streets of civilization. I remember the resilience that stood firm in his eyes as he passionately expressed his passion for the ostracized. I remember a man veiled in the skin of albinism yet, even more so, veiled in the skin of humanity. He was and still is a person. I was and still am a person. Irrespective of color and what has been labelled as a “defect”, we are people.

“We are people…”

An elephant is sitting in our rooms, in our workplaces, and in our country. Her cries of social injustice are heard but not noticed. They are seen but perhaps not perceived. They are felt but not touched. Amid the façade, some are hurting. Some are living subliminal lives, hiding away from the safe haven that is meant to be our community, for fear of being sold. Yet, what has been mindfully coined as human merchandise are our brothers and sisters. Our reflection that piercingly parallels the truth of who we all are stands in the gap of this human prejudice. We (yes we) are people. We are people created in the image of God; People created in the image of the perfect triune Being whose desire is to reflect His Being through the craft of His handiwork. If we allow ourselves to outcast a seemingly outward “defect” it will only reveal a greater defect within us. As someone once said, “When I look into your face, I see mine.”

The end of June marked the end of albinism awareness month. But as the days turn into months and the months turn into years, let us always keep aware of the hurt that silently cries in the background and the voices that yearn to speak. Jesus fought for the justice of the unheard. He was and still is the father to the fatherless and the friend to the outcast. Even whilst our moral fabric was “defected” by sin, He stepped down to save us. What love is this. Let us continue voicing on. Let us continue remembering. Let us, irrespective of skin color, continue to be us.

“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3

At His Feet…

When God dreams for you

God: “Hey Mary, I’ve heard you’ve been dreaming, making plans for your big wedding day. You and Joseph are gonna be the picture perfect family- maybe a couple of kids down the road. But I’ve been thinking…Even before time began I had a picture perfect plan of how to save this broken world through the life of just one Man. I’m gonna send my only Son. And Mary…you’re the one. You were right about one thing: You’re gonna have that family- and you’re gonna raise a King.” (Dream for You- Casting Crowns, Thrive 2014)

As our eyes surrender to sleeps gentle provocations we enter into slumbers world were an assortment of possibility and wonder (and sometimes fear) beam tangible only to wither away as the sun kisses the delicate framework of our being. Dreams remind us that there is more. Dreams remind us that there is more to be experienced, touched and known. Some dream with their eyes closed. Some do not dream. Yet others dream with their eyes open. The palpable reality of tomorrows hopes tickle our today propelling us onto the path of possibility. The prospects are many. The opportunities are vast. The door knobs are itching to be flung open. But as the grain of sand lays as a tiny pebble before the innumerable sands of the seashore, so too do our dreams gaze at the grandeur of Gods “dreams” and plans for us. More often than we think and know God streams snippets of His dreams and plans onto our path. Little did Joseph know that his teenage dreams of being some sort of leader were a God-given vision of what the sovereign Lord intended to achieve for His people Israel. Little did Moses know that his untamed zeal to fend for his people was an early call to deliver them out of Egypt. Little did Mary know that her bundle of joy would affect the whole course of history- Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world!

“Let Me dream for you”

In Gods manifold wisdom He has chosen to bring to effect His purposes and plans through His handiwork- you and me! More often than not His plans tend to be absent on our calendars (I’m sure Mary was not expecting a baby that soon- let alone the Son of God!). Each of these dreamers had questions, concerns and a fair amount of doubts. Yet, God, in His patience, grace and gentle firmness worked in each of them both to will and to do His good pleasure as they desperately surrendered [1]. And what did they get in return? A life full of God. A life that was empty of self-ambition. A life full of the visions of God. A life of adventure and escapade as each turn of the page revealed the awesome works and power of an awesome God. Amid the trials, twists and impeccable turns, the sovereign dreams of God thwarted their seemingly tremulous nightmares into a greater intimacy and confidence in the Lord their God. I know I may be waffling like a broken record of Gods desire to reveal Himself both to you and creation of His greatness, awe and power but there is really nothing (not our greatest dream, ambition or hope!) that can match up to the revelation of God. Jesus came to radically transform us and bring us back to the Father. He came to clear us of ourselves so that we can be filled with Him. His death on the cross screams “COME UNTO ME” as we trade our sin, our failures, our “dreams” for Him. Will you say yes? Will you let God dream for you?

He is calling us to come deeper into Him. He is calling us to clear our canvas and to let Him paint an artwork that speaks of Him. He is calling us to let Him dream for us.

“So come on, let Me dream…let Me dream for you. I am strong when you’re weak…and I’ll carry you. So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand. I’ll show you what I can do when I dream for you…” (Dream for you- Casting Crowns, Thrive 2014)

At His Feet…

References

  1. Philippians 2:12-13

Sleepless and wide-eyed, my roommate and I sat in the slumber of the night reveling in the favorable thrills of post-exam fever. Nights of revision, pseudo-siestas and coffee interruptions crafted the unadulterated medical mosaic that culminated itself into our final end of year paper (‘o the joys of a disturbed sleep-wake cycle). Our endeavors of getting some rest were thoroughly vanquished as we recollected past memories and present affairs. It was clear that we both relished the freedom that liberally beamed in the palm of our hands. Amid the conversation and semi-deep moments, he uttered something that got me thinking. He got me thinking about tomorrow. It was not a twenty-four-hour trajectory of tomorrows destiny nor was it a trivial matter in its magnitude (well, at-least to me). It was simply that. Tomorrow. Future events and future chapters that have yet to be read and lived. I wish, with all sincerity, that I could say that I have it all figured out. I wish to figure out, with impeccable discernment, what I need to figure out. I wish to know the nitty grits about the happenings that lay ahead of me. I wish to know the how’s, when’s and why’s as I slowly interject moments of head-scratching with the occasional “what?”

“Will you go out without knowing?”

The future appears to latch strongly onto chunks of our forthcoming human experience: future job; future house; future “bae”; future career; future ministry- the list is endless. Impending expectations about “tomorrow” short circuit our minds shocking our system with questions that, on the face, have no immediate answer at times. One would think that our microwave “insta-generation” would have greater certainty and assurance with the wide-array of options and choices that lay scattered waiting to be picked and experienced (the world is your oyster they say). Yet, our confidence about tomorrow, at times, dwindles mercilessly as the fog and mist of tomorrows chapters cloud our vision of the frontier ahead.  The questions and misgivings that we have (“will I be able to secure a good job in this economy?…will the dreams and ideas that I have ever be realized?…will my marriage hold ground?”) are sincere for the most part. Our ability to see the fine print of the future details may be blurred. That’s okay. The plan has never really been for us to set our vision and cast our gaze on the details of the script. As the directors of Hollywood write plays to be watched, the Director of creation tells His cast and His audience to watch Him instead. Gods heart for you and me is that our gaze be on Him. As Oswald Chambers put it “Have you been asking God what He is going to do? At times, God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you who He is.” The journey that God has or is calling you to is one of deep intimacy with Him. It is a life of knowing His heart as we share ours with Him. As we come into deeper relationship with God we receive a greater awareness of where we are at not because we know where we are exactly heading but because we know Him- and because He knows us. What questions do you have about tomorrow? What aspect about tomorrow does God not already know? What aspects about tomorrow can God not handle? “Will you go out without knowing?…Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him- what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of life be a continual ‘going out’ in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God. [1]”

Because He lives we can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because we know that He holds the future, life is worth the living because He lives [2].

At His Feet…

References

1. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

2. Song lyrics: Because He lives (Bill Gaither)

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