Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What’s it like? You don’t see it in rooms if you are ill.”
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under earth,” said Mary. (The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett)
The Lord stirred my heart through these lines in a classic American novel. Many of us are in gross anticipation and striving to develop that into hopeful expectation. We struggle to imagine what the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise will look like because we are quite ill. We willingly choose the plague of worry, “what if” situations, and doubt. These plagues deceptively convince us that we are gaining control and seem to promise a kind of life insurance. We go through all the “what if’s” in order that if something terrible happens, at least we have already thought of the worst outcome.
So, we run to Christ, asking for Him to tell us the last chapter of the book so we might prepare ourselves. We refuse to trust Him because we are deeply afraid that He does not have our concerns in mind. How many times have we had a season in prayer that is focused on the questions, “Oh but Lord when? Is it coming? What will it look like? Will I have everything I need?” We are fragile, needy creatures that cry out for stability.
Dear heart, when will you learn the world promises you nothing and He promises everything? If we trusted in the reality of those words, we would not be disturbed when chaos breaks out in the world. Our life would not feel so shaken as all seems to be stolen from us. Our lack finds solace in His fullness. He is the God of restoration and is never outdone in generosity. Be confident that when you surrender with shaky hands, He is already bestowing the bounty on you.
Perhaps this time of questioning is the fulfillment of the promise, perhaps this is the spring, “Things pushing up and working under earth,” the wrestling in the inner workings of your heart. Perhaps this is the victorious moment.
Rejoice, even here. Hope, even here. Love, even here. The very act of hoping and rejoicing with excitement during a time of deep struggle is a miraculous event—a total act of grace. Christ is already answering you. His loving intervention is the way in which He sustains you through the process.
His silence is not neglect. The unanswered questions are His mercy. He is the Good Gardener, pruning, uprooting, tilling, until you are ready to receive the “more.” You desire a task? Pray—beg—for the grace to be docile to the Good Gardner’s work and remember WHO He is.
Who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:15)
When we remember WHO He is and we revel in that reality, our perspective is reordered by grace. Our plans are constantly interrupted, re-worked, broken down, undone. It is in the moments of great instability that the Lord steadies us and reminds us once again WHO He is. The stability the world promises is in vain. All can be washed away in an instant (check out that reality in Matthew 7:24-27). The promise of the Lord is a sturdy shelter. Release your fear; and recall that He does not steal or lie (Numbers 23:19).
Here in the living soil of the Good Gardener lies your true stability, your true rest. As you allow yourself to be bent, watered, and restored in His trusted timing, you will come to realize the freedom of His promise.