There are several of them. Purple, white and several shades of pink. Some are even stripped, but mostly, I think they are plain. Plain, yet vibrant.
A couple of months back, however they hit a period of dormancy where they almost disappeared. Now that they are back into full bloom, they bring immense joy to my heart.
So, I pressed pause for a bit.
I pondered and realized that these things we call flowers are some of the wisest creations ever made. They have much to teach us about the rhythm of times and seasons. They know when its time to simply let go and sink into the soil that birthed them. They know that once they truly do, they will receive all the nutrients they need to grow as they rest. And once they do, they are confident that they will bloom again.
It’s perhaps much the same with us too. As we cast all our cares on The One who cares for us in the complete understanding that He will take care, we can truly let go. Let go of the need to understand, and choose to trust instead.
“The Lord alone is our radiant hope and we trust in him with all our hearts. His wrap-around presence will strengthen us. 21 As we trust, we rejoice with an uncontained joy flowing from Yahweh! 22 Let your love and steadfast kindness overshadow us continually, for we trust and we wait upon you!”
(Psalm 33:20-22, The Passion Translation)
As we wait upon Him, He always comes through. Our rest in Him gives way to revelation that supersedes any need to understand, regardless of what it is that we may be going through. For He is The One who always come through.
He comes through with healing, grace and renewed strength which leaves us more whole and more alive than we were before.
Much like these flowers. From dormancy to full bloom, resting in the soil has made all the difference.
It’s a dense forest here and a rather narrow yet slick bridge is steadfastly making its way through it. It looks like a beam of light that knows where it is going, and the density of the forest around it, doesn’t deter it. Shining like the gleam of silver, it is in touch with pure gold: its destination.
I imagine that it is much the same with us too. Except that we aren’t just in touch with our destination, but The Lord of our destination. Purer than the purest gold, He is who we are in touch with which makes all the difference.
One of my most treasured verses from Scripture is as follows,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
It is very comforting for me to know that even before The Lord formed me, He knew me. He knew everything about me, and yet He chose to choose me. Before the beginning of time, He knew that at this point in time, this would be the pathway that I would be travelling. He knew it by foreknowledge. I, however, know it by revelation knowledge.
Revelation knowledge which has been graciously imparted to me by The Holy Spirit who connects my heart to that of The Father.
The Father who foreknew me and delights in His children walking in the light of His revelation.
A revelation of who He really, really is leading to a revelation of who we really, really are inevitably leads to revelation upon revelation of who He calls us to be in every season of our souls. He knows the end from the beginning, but for us to walk from the beginning to the end, we certainly need revelation. He promises that His plans towards us are good. They are to give us a hope and a future. But what does that really, really look like?
“God will always give you the right amount of light, whether its for the next step of your journey or the next one hundred miles.”
– Graham Cooke
This simple yet profound word of wisdom spoke straight to my core. It dawned on me that the God who foreknew me is faithful to reveal just enough to keep me on track with Him. As a cheerful giver, He delights in giving us revelation knowledge about that which is held quite secure within His foreknowledge. But for this revelation to be received on our part, we do have to actively seek Him and earnestly glean from The Father’s Heart.
He speaks to us in as many ways as He is infinite. And as we remain sensitive to that still, small voice within on a consistent basis, I believe we will always be walking in the light of His revelation. Whether we are seeking revelation on the nature of God, who we are in Him and the hope of the calling that we have received, His Spirit is faithful to reveal the truth.
“The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it.” (1 Corinthians 2:13-16, MSG)
He lets us in on it most joyfully as a Good Good Father who delights in giving good good gifts to His Children. As I write, I can’t help but wonder if these good good gifts that He promises us come in the form of a beautiful guise called, “revelation knowledge?”
He has predestined us for greatness. He has chosen us to be transformed and conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus. As we become more and more Christlike, we find that the Destiny we are seeking is already within us. By virtue of walking hand in hand with our Lord, it is only being unraveled and unpacked with each day that we live. For each day comes with fresh faith, fresh focus and fresh favor in order that we may seek fresh revelation from our Father and walk in the light thereof.
For our Destiny is the eternal life that is running through our veins by virtue of who Christ is within us. It is lovingly cultivated each day as we seek The Father to reveal to us who it is that we are becoming this day today, within the context of the situations and circumstances that surround us?
More loving? More trusting? More kind? More fierce?
For the kind intention of the eternal life within us is to elevate us above the state of our situations and circumstances as we tap into the eternal life within. Our external world could come packaged as dense as the forest in the picture, but the light that we are becoming as a result of The Light within will always shine brighter.
Just like the bridge we previously spoke of.
It shoots straight through all that which surrounds it and seems to be a pathway to a brighter world on the other side.
If there is one thing that I could learn from the bridge, it is precisely this.
We too are a ray of light wherever it is that The Lord has placed us, and as such, we can with His help, pave a pathway to a world that is rich and replete with purpose. The extent to which we will realize that is the degree to which we are willing to seek Him on the matters that matter the most to Him, and therefore, to us.
This is where His Spirit comes forth like the breaking of a new dawn with revelation knowledge that keeps us in sync with the foreknowledge of God. Sensitive to His promptings within, we learn to navigate like never before. We start to see problems as possibilities through His promises and through a strong partnership together, purpose is birthed and destiny made manifest. As the journey continues unabated, we begin to experience that not only are we in touch with The One who is purer than the purest gold, but that we ourselves are being made in the likeness thereof.
God tells us that through faith and patience, we inherit His promises. And what I have realized is simple.
Just as faith works by love, patience is closely tied to trust. The more we trust in The One who has given us His Word, the more capacity we will have to be patient in the process.
For it is in the process that God wants to develop and change us. He starts to cultivate patience as a fruit of The Holy Spirit because His primary purpose in our lives is to make us more like Christ. As we yield to the process, we start to understand that God’s ways and thoughts are truly higher. For the more we become like our sweet, precious Jesus, the more we will transform into people that are well able to not only inherit, but also inhabit the promises of our sweet, precious Jesus.
In His life here on Earth, Jesus was tried and tested by several things and several people in several ways. But He remained patient through it all, because He knew His purpose and was determined to not let anything nor anyone interfere with it. He knew fully well the joy that was set before Him; a joy that was both, sweet and precious.
That would mean us.
In moments of doubt, simply getting a grip on this Truth sets us free. It sets us free to believe and trust again, except that this time? It has only gone deeper.
A deep trust in the unchanging and unfailing faithfulness of God that is grounded in His loving kindness towards us enlarges our capacity to remain patient in the process. We learn things about our sweet, precious Jesus who is also our Potter. He loves to mold the sweet, precious clay in His hands to take it not just from one degree of glory to another, but also from one dimension to the next.
For we are the clay that He carefully sculpts through His Love in order to turn us into an astonishing masterpiece. For any piece of sculpture to be fully formed, I imagine it has to undergo the process of being spun on the potter’s wheel. Of course, it isn’t the most comfortable thing, but the end result is always worth it.
And perhaps somewhere I imagine, so it is with us.
But maybe there is a catch.
For I believe our sweet, precious Jesus is The Potter who cultivates the fruit of patience within us only so we are comfortable in the process of waiting upon Him to complete that which He has begun. We learn that He is trustworthy, and He knows what He is doing. He calls Himself the alpha and the omega. But He is also present with us every step of the way and fills the gap in between, and because He does? We can be patient.
When He laid this verse on my heart a few days back, I googled the meaning of, “sweet,” and here’s what I found:
The process of developing patience in the process can be painful, but the outcome is always delightful. It is delightful, from the inside out. Not only have we grown in the stature of those He calls His own, but also thrived in the process towards the culmination, which in any case, is delightful. It is delightful not only because it is a prayer answered, a promise manifested or a prophecy fulfilled; it is delightful because we too have grown. We are no longer who we used to be, but have transformed beautifully. We are ready and prepared to step into the fullness of what He had intended all along, but with a sensitivity towards The Hand that has been faithfully at work shaping us all along.
Sweet, precious Jesus.
More sweet and more precious than the process or the promise, for this is a Person whose very Presence is so sweet and so precious that words fail me.
For I know that even when words fail me, He won’t.
I see a young girl here. Full of a life force she can’t explain that compels her to leave the shadows behind and run towards the sunshine that beckons her to come forth. With the grace of a gazelle, she runs with the wind. She runs wholeheartedly, knowing that what lies ahead of her is far greater than what lies behind her. The Light that crowns her head knows her by name, and invites her to embrace the beauty of the green, grassy meadows that await her. It’s an invitation she lovingly accepts and with a freedom in her soul she can’t explain, she runs.
She knows that what she is running towards is unknown, but growth is more important than comfort. She unflinchingly exchanges the safety of the familiar with the adventure of the new. The new she knows may be uncharted, but is worth it. For The Light that crowns her head has told her so.
So she believes.
She believes because The Light that crowns her head is also The Love that surrounds her. He surrounds her with a fury that no darkness can penetrate. The promises He makes nothing can terminate. He goes before and He stands behind. He stands alone, so she never ever has too.
Together, they run.
They run towards lush, green pastures. Here she discovers more. She sees how tenderly this Love she believes in cares for His sheep. She takes to heart as she notices how He willingly lays down His life for His sheep in order that they may find theirs. As she gazes upon the beauty of this Love, she knows she has been forever changed.
Changed so radically that she knows she will never be the same again.
The Love she has encountered has created in her heart the capacity to say a full, “Yes,” to a journey that is sure to come with its fair share of ups and downs, but she remains undaunted. Simply because she knows beyond a shadow of doubt that The Love she runs with is stronger than anything she will ever face.
So, they continue to run together.
And as they do, she discovers more.
She discovers that this Love teaches her to move like the water and the wind. Fluid and free flowing. Whether its stones, pebbles, mountains or rocks; water easily makes its way over them or around them. An element that moves so swiftly that nothing can stop it is thus, rendered immovable. Much the same with the wind that blows with such an extravagant freedom that nothing can contain it.
And so it is with this Love that she has experienced. Nothing can stop Him, and nothing can move Him. Except our hearts. Our hearts, she understands, move Him and so she decides to joyfully give hers away.
Give it away to the Love that never gives way.
As this dawns upon her, she begins to want to become more like Him. This is where the journey begins to touch depths that she could have never even imagined nor hoped. Recalling how this Love gladly lays His life down for His sheep, she receives a revelation that moves the very core of her being. For it is evident that for His sheep to find their lives in the life that He chose to lay, He too had to first say a full, “Yes.”
A full,”Yes” to being reduced to love, and a “Yes” so full that it prompts ours too.
For as we journey with Love, we too will reach milestones where the depths of His sacrifice for us and commitment towards us touch us so deeply that we simply say, “Yes.”
Yes, to being reduced to love which leaves us more full and free than ever. More full of peace. More full of patience. More full of humility. More full of honor. More full of compassion. More full of understanding. More full of quiet strength. More full of mercy. More full of grace. More full of love as a result of being reduced to it.
It’s a paradox one can’t explain, but only experience.
An experience that leaves us so free that it borders on fantasy.
For that’s what The Cross exemplifies,
Having nailed the law to The Cross, Jesus has left us with only one law which is the law of love against which there is no law. Love that encases the majesty of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control is a love that nothing can stand against, and because nothing can?
I clicked this piece of majesty last evening. As marvellous as it is as a part of God’s wonderful creation, it’s branches are too thin.
That may be majesty for the tree, but it’s a revelation for me,
“Don’t spread yourself too thin.”
As a new creation in Christ, we are called to abide in Him as branches that abide in the vine. He is the vine, and we are the branches. He promises that whoever abides in Him, bears much fruit. The beauty is that it happens so organically and naturally that we seldom realise all that we have become in Him through His Spirit, and it takes The Lord to bring tender moments like these to press pause and ponder.
Ponder in wonder as we allow Him to open our eyes to the height and depth, the length and width that we’ve travelled in Him, with Him and through Him.
The broad open space in the Spirit where we explore His Heart and begin to find ourselves, all over again. It’s a space of abiding in Him where when we learn to sit at His feet; He goes to work to make us whole again, alive again, spirited again.
This natural tree may have branches that are thin yet eye catching. But as oaks of righteousness that He calls us to be, I do think it’s important to carve out time and space with Him where He takes us beyond space and time. He gives us eyes to see and ears to hear. He releases healing, wisdom, love, grace and strength. He broadens our vision for what is possible and then gently instills within us the faith to believe Him for it.
But it all happens when we can make peace with a simple yet profound word of wisdom,
“Don’t spread yourself too thin.”
We all have things to do, errands to run and dreams to accomplish. But what if it all boils down to the truth enveloped in the story of Mary and Martha when Jesus came visiting. Martha was worried with all the preparations, Mary just sat at His feet. Something Jesus affirmed saying that Mary had chosen the better portion, a portion that shall not be taken from her.
Jesus is our portion too. We need Him everyday to help us, uphold us, strengthen us, guide us and above all else, love us. When we sit at His feet, the jewels He imparts are so expansive that either the temporal things of this world seamlessly fall into place, or we do. And as we do, we find ourselves more able to steer ourselves through these temporal things in a manner that’s eternally sacred.
Because we have chosen The Better Portion too who makes all things better and perhaps in His own way whispers to us at times we least expect to hear from Him,
I’ve learned that every scenario of life is different. It’s comes with a different set of situations and circumstances that are fashioned to propel us forward in our relational walk with The Lord. For it’s in the context of our journey with Him that true and lasting transformation occurs.
It occurs deep down on the inside of us where the Spirit of God gently touches upon the areas where God wants to upgrade our Identity in Him, making us more and more like the image of His Son,
One of the best descriptions of our journey with The Lord that I have had the joy of dwelling upon is as follows,
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from The Lord, who is the Spirit.”
(2 Corinthians 3:18, The Passion Translation)
We aren’t just being transformed, we are being transfigured. We are learning to partner with the person of The Holy Spirit as He cultivates the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, within us. In every time frame, He touches upon the area that we need an upgrade in, to not only become more like our Maker, but as a result, even learn to live above the state of our situations and circumstances as surely as Christ did.
“God is not peripheral to the world. The world is peripheral to God.”
Consequently, as The Holy Spirit starts to work within us to cultivate one area at a time, all our situations and circumstances now begin to work in our favour. Abiding in Christ, we are no longer under the weight of them, for we are gliding far above them. After all, that’s what He promised us,
A life above and not beneath.
Which is why our souls hang on every word He says.
For the truth is that this life is one big grand adventure, and any adventure comes with a corresponding promise of uncertainty. However, what anchors us in the midst of this uncertainty is the absolute certainty of who God is for us, and who we are becoming as a result of being in a thriving relationship with Him.
It’s this adventure that compels us to engage with The Father’s Heart through a relational dialogue, a dialogue that downloads revelation from the Heavens above and through His Spirit, ensures that revelation is transformed into reality in order that we may not only transform but transfigure, from one degree of glory to another.
The image that The Lord led me to use for this post is one that is a pristine picture of a calm, placid sea. The horizon is clear and the sky is blue. The man with the oar looks ready for action, yet stilled by the majesty of the beauty around him.
Life in the Spirit, I imagine is much the same. The spiritual condition of our hearts when fixed on Jesus remains peaceful because He is the Prince of Peace. His peace is not because of circumstances, but despite circumstances. His peace is a gift freely given and simultaneously, a fruit that we can allow The Holy Spirit to cultivate within us, regardless of circumstances; and sometimes, because of them. The horizon in the natural can seem cloudy, but when viewed through the lens of the promises that God gives us, that same horizon now looks promising because our vision has become aligned with His and His vision is never cloudy. Its a clear and confident, “Yes” and “Amen” to the new scenery that His promise has just revealed. The skies above may look overcast, but our souls don’t have to be downcast.
Because they hang on every word He says and every promise He makes.
His promise is like an oar in our hands. Like the man in the picture above, we too hold on to it and before we start to run with it, allowing ourselves to be stilled by the majesty of the beauty of The Love that surrounds us is something we can learn from the man that I’ve talked about so much.
For in my experience, the journey between where we are now and where His promise beckons us is a space where our souls hang on every word He says and can most assuredly rest in The Love that is here to stay. His word is a sure path from the “here and now” to the “then and there.” It is given to us to empower us and equip us and invite us into a walk where when wholeheartedly partnered with, we have said, “Yes” to an adventure that will not only see us receive word upon word as rivers of living water that freely flow from His Heart to ours, eventually resulting in an extravagant confluence where we see the fulfillment of the promise that He spoke over our lives, but was made possible only because we were first humble enough to become obedient to every word He uttered and wise enough to rest in The Love that spoke the word in the first place.
The Love that says He will never leave us nor forsake us. The Love that declares that nothing can separate us from Him. The Love that goes before and stands behind. The Love that moves mountains and splits seas wide open. The Love that left Heaven behind so we could have Heaven in our midst. The Love that perhaps even a million different words written over a million light years will never be captured within, for He is way beyond.
Way beyond and still within.
Still within to help us transform and transfigure, navigate and traverse, steer and sail, fly and soar.
But before we do, He ensures that His sheep know His voice, run with His word and rest in His Love.
For The Love that we rest in will ensure that the rest is history, altering the very course of our Destiny.