Thursday, July 14, 2016

take root downward

 "And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." (II Kings 19:30-35)

Lately I've been wrestling with God through a lot of fear and doubt. I wonder if I'm fulfilling His callings in my life. I wonder if He'll really protect and see me through anything and everything life throws at me/us. I wonder if I can ever be enough. (I can't).

Escaping danger, sin, and turmoil and somehow finding a way to produce fruit in this wild and crazy world is possible only through Him: "the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this." His job is to defend; my job is to "take root downward" - to choose to trust Him, to know that grounding myself in Him is the only answer to every question.

"Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord, neither be dismayed, O Israel, for lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid." (Jeremiah 30:9-10)

This rest and quiet is something we all long for. I know... we just came through a beautiful wedding weekend and staying home for four days has been blissful. It's sometimes unclear how to live peacefully and yet radically - how to show Christ to the world and yet creating a warm and safe home for my children, for example. But perhaps they're one and the same - the way we live peacefully is such sharp contrast, so radically different, than the way people live in confusion. They advocate for this and for that, looking for something to stand on and stand behind... "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH." (II Timothy 3:7)

I read a Corrie Ten Boom quote here that has stuck with me for the past couple days. "The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers."

I wish I understood exactly, day-to-day, what this looked like in my life - what it means to be a stream of living water or a channel of mercy. I wish I knew who to serve, who to help, how to give, when to say yes, when to say no, when to share, when to keep silent. But I do know that this is what I want to be.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
(I Timothy 2:1-4)