This week I wanted to share a small excerpt from my upcoming book: Love Echoed Back. Send me a comment using the link below and tell me what you think!
I would slowly, reluctantly, and tearfully release my status. Over the course of the last several years, I realized how wrapped up my self-image was in my status. For a period, the diplomas on my wall, the ones outlining my steps in life, defining my career, somehow took on a life of their own. They lured me into a false sense of security and safety. They flattered me into believing my success in life depended on them. They dulled my sense of hearing to the Father’s call, and they shifted my focus onto earthly issues, not eternal ones. They pretended to be my life’s work. So disillusioned by the current events surrounding me, I had to separate myself physically from them or risk drowning in their shadow. I removed them from the walls for a better part of two years unable to bear their taunts and misleading promises. Broken, I could now be healed. Crushed, I could now truly begin again. This wasn’t the work of an angry God, but a compassionate Savior saving me from myself. Life redefined, you bet. Thank goodness He holds an eraser.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible involves Jesus healing the woman with an issue of blood (Matt. 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). We don’t know her name; she is defined by her problem. She had suffered for years, most likely became an outcast as the community would have labeled her as unclean due to her disease. Although she had put her faith in numerous physicians, they had failed her. Her hope of a cure by worldly methods was gone. She had seemingly come to the end of the line. Having exhausted all the options, she was broken, her suffering was long, and still something burned inside her. She would hold out for a moment, a chance encounter with Jesus. She had no doubt heard of His healing power, planned her move, and then reached for the One and only One that could truly help her. Surrounded by hundreds, most likely thousands, she would push and stretch her way through this packed crowd until she reached Him.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment. Mark 5:27-29 AMP
In a moment, this woman defined by her condition, labeled due to disease, avoided due to her current status, would show tremendous faith. She would be healed, find peace, and experience love beyond imagination. She would be restored. After years of searching, no doubt her life was changed. She was no longer an outcast, and she recognized herself in a completely different light. As we enter into a true relationship with Him, Jesus requires us to throw off our worldly status and in exchange, He gives grace and mercy to all that seek it.
Over the course of two years, time would seem to stand still at moments. Time is Jesus’ tool for bringing us to points of clarity. The quality of time shouldn’t be measured by how quickly we gain insight, but by how deeply we allow the reshaping process to take hold of us. I can’t tell you how long your time of refining will be, but the end result is always worth the process, if you are open to it.
While the devil is a master manipulator, Jesus is the master of recreation.
Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation