Several years ago, a friend who was worn down and distressed by a loved one’s animosity and life choices, asked for help in the form of prayer. This is a followup message I sent, after we’d addressed the details of the issues in other emails:
Subject: Parting seas.
Hey ___ ,
Nice teamwork! Sorry you get the front line on earth, while I get the less painful spiritual fight. You mentioned being distraught, which is no fun. I know it all too well. I’m glad you were shown a distant perspective of what’s happening on earth, at least for now.
It seems to me that God pulls us up with Him to see the big picture sometimes, and other times leaves us on earth where we can’t see the forest for the trees. I suspect our work with Him is effective with both layers of perspective having great value. What you are doing with ___ , though unpleasant and painful, is having a positive, priceless and permanent impact.
I used to wish I could just stay above in the spiritual perspective where nobody can hurt me, but work for Him must also be down in the thick of it. Besides, it’s on that same, often painful earth, that He blesses us with rewarding and wonderful things.
The past few weeks I’ve “heard” that what opposed me before, is falling away now. It makes my outlook on life finally hopeful again. I feel excitement for what God has ahead. Could life actually be forward-moving, productive, satisfying and happy? Could the years of trying, but getting nowhere, actually be winding down? I think that’s what God is communicating to me. It’s taking awhile to adjust to it, as I’m so used to experiencing disproportionate amounts of life’s injustices and pain.
In daily life, many sources of trouble and opposition really are falling away. Problems that used to be impenetrable aren’t all immovable anymore. (Some remain rock-solid obstacles, but I sense that He is taking a different route around those.)
I believe God is saying that life ahead will be significantly different, because He is coming alongside my efforts, and adding His power to what refused to budge. As the seas part, His plan and purpose can forge ahead.
How does that change being alive? Life becomes productive where it was futile, celebratory where it was dour, free where it was tripped up by ill-intentioned people, abundant where resources had been stripped and depleted, and happy where it had been hopeless.
So, that’s my unplanned, unexpected little sermon today!
There you have it — a glimpse inside my life with God.
It’s more about listening and understanding, than about soliciting.
It’s more about belief in what God says, than about discouragement and fear in dire circumstances.
It’s more about learning who He is while engaging with Him in daily life, than about distance between us.
The gap has been bridged by Jesus’s sacrifice of life, and by the presence of His Holy Spirit on earth. As unlikely as it seems, and as difficult as it is to absorb, He longs to partner with each of us, to engage with us every hour of every day, and to help and empower us in the details of our lives.