There are times in our faith-walk that we feel like a sudden cool breeze and darkness has fallen upon our path. And somewhere in the midst of that, in the midst of us grappling to hold tightly to the truth in faith in the face of panic that tries to take up residence, we feel like Christ has abandoned us.
We feel like in the very presence of challenge our Lord has forsaken us, leaving us to face the challenge and fear alone, even though we know that His Word has promised that forsaking us is something He would never do (HEBREWS 13:5, DEUT. 31:6).
Have you felt this before? If so, know you are not alone.
Recently I asked the Lord about this feeling as I stood in the dark fog of my own faith-walk, questioning the feeling that He had withdrawn from me, and what He showed me made me love Him all the more, but also reminded me that He is always at work in us for our good because He loves us best and most (PHILIPPIANS 1:6)!
What He showed me was Him hugging me but then taking hold of my hands and while still holding them, stepping backward from me. When He stepped back and I looked down, what I saw was not just space between us but something that had been under His feet that He had been covering up from my view all along.
Next, the Lord beacons me to close the gap between us, making it plain that He is not going to do so. But then He whispers to my heart, “This has been under My feet, this challenge, this fear of yours. Now I need you to step forward toward Me and put it under your feet where it belongs.”
And then, lovingly and patiently He waits for me to do so while still holding my hands. He waits for me to step forward in authority, into another level of faith and closeness with Him.
This all seems to happen in this crushing fog that takes place in the between of promise and possession, between the ‘crucifixion’ and the ‘resurrection.’
It is in the moments of fog, the times of darkness, with steps of faith that we tremble to take, that our faith is stretched, not to breaking but to a greater place of flexibility and strength.
When we are called to step out on paths we’ve never had to traverse, when we are called to leap into the darkness when we can’t see the bottom, it is then that we discover the Lord has equipped us to fly.
It’s in the crushing gaps that we grow into more.
As I write these words, water pours from my eyes and my chin drips with tears as I too am being made to leap. I am being called to fly. I am being called to step forward and close the gap between my current position in the spirit and where Christ is waiting for me.
We have to close the gap. We have to step forward and those steps are often crushing.
Our old paradigm is shifted. What we believe about ourselves, what we believe and thought we knew about the Lord is tested and challenged. But it is oh so good. I know this.
I know this from past leaps, from past gaps and crushing.
And what is it exactly that I know?
I know that from the crushing comes a beautiful fragrance. From the crushing comes new wine and sweetness that brings joy to a heart and makes it merry. From the crushing comes oil of anointing that destroys yokes (ISAIAH 10:27).
I know, and this is the best part, that Christ loves me on levels that take my breath away. He loves me to the point I am made to fall on my knees and look up to Him in awe and say, “You love me that much?”
And the answer is always, always, yes!
He loves us far more than we could imagine and He knows that what He is challenging us to do will only make us better, it will only cause us to become more of who He created us to be.
Close the gap. Go through the crushing and leap back into your Abba’s waiting arms! Step forward in faith!