Monday, May 25, 2015

an unexpected flood

I almost left it as a draft.
Those words I posted yesterday.  
Those desperate, unedited, "we're gonna be late for church!" words did not seem worthy of the situation they spoke about.  And so I almost left them sitting in a file, unpublished.

Sometimes the Spirit of God compels us to do something - not to do something perfectly but to just do something.  And so yesterday I quietly posted those words that seemed grossly inadequate and then I watched as, unbelievably, God took a small offering and used it in a big way.

Throughout the day I received emails and texts all related to that post.  I saw God moving in the hearts of people in a very tangible way.  But it wasn't until I sat down at my computer late last night that I was completely blown away.  What I wrote here yesterday has been viewed by TEN times as many people as most of the posts I publish.  This isn't about numbers and it certainly isn't about my blog.  It's about what all of this represents.

God is so very present here and now.
Right smack dab in the middle of a world where things go terribly wrong he is still making things right.
Sometimes in our greatest despair we find God's people coming together in the the most breathtakingly beautiful ways.  I have seen it happen again and again.  That you would all voluntarily wade out into deep dark waters alongside people who, in many cases, you don't even know is astounding...and it is evidence.

It is evidence that we all feel the need to rely on something and someone greater than ourselves and our circumstances.
It is evidence that God is still working in and through people in mighty ways.
It is evidence that prayer is powerful.
And perhaps, most precious of all, it is evidence that the lives of Dobbs and Reed Eddings are continuing to bring life to others even in death.  It's evidence that their parents carry great hope alongside great grief.

Literally thousands of people around the globe have shifted their gaze from the things of this world to the face of God.  With whatever questions or sorrows or pain they carry they have turned towards Him with their hands full of the weight of this world and something has happened.  It's not so much what we have said to God as it is that
in the act of turning towards him we have given him access into our hearts and into this world, 
He. Is. Flooding. It.

That's what it feels like to me.
A flood of light and life.

This hole that has been left by the death of a child and the crushing of his parents' hearts and the fragility of his brother's new life has been FLOODED with the presence of God.  And with the presence of God comes
truth and
love and
grace and
and restoration
and so all of those things are now at work not only in the life of the Eddings family but in countless other lives too.  And that, my friends, is the power of our God.  Each one of you a vessel of his Spirit poured out on a parched world.  It leaves me breathless.

Thousands of people have stood up and bowed down all to say -
Yes, this is excruciating.
Yes, we question 'why?'
Yes, our hearts are breaking.
But if the enemy intended this to bring harm we know that our God will not stand for that.
We believe that not only will God redeem the brokenness in this life but that as we trust and surrender ourselves to Him, He will strengthen and unify us and pour out his blessings on us.
I will step back now because this is not my story to tell.  It belongs to the Eddings family and I know they will steward it well.
In the meantime, will you continue to hold them with your prayers?  The road ahead of them is not an easy one.
And will you continue to enter into other people's lives through prayer?
The family of God will be united and strengthened as a result.
Will you grant God access into your heart with a simple turning towards him?

As you do, know that I am praying for you too - every single one of you.  I'm praying that in those moments of
lifting and listening,
weeping and rejoicing,
you will come face to face with the God who holds us, and everything else in this world, together...
and in those moments there will be a togetherness of our spirits and a transformation of our souls that will overcome the darkest of despair.

Flood this place with yourself, God.

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
{2 Corinthians 4:8-12}