Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Moment on the Mat

Throughout the past month, God has been inviting me into the pages and promises of the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11. Asking, beckoning, and beaming as I pour through these hard-to-swallow stories and wrestle with where I will stand.

His never-ending patience catches tears and hears me out as I ask questions He’s already answered. He waits without condemnation to see if I can say yes, to that kind of faith… the faith that says you won’t see the finished product because He’s creating “something better” for the grand finale than what my lifetime can grasp. (Hebrews 11:40)

I’ve stomped and stirred because it feels like one of those edge-of-the-diving-board decisions. Once you jump, you’re in the deep end. And you better remember how to swim. You’d think that moving to Africa would be enough, right?

“It’s high-dive time,” the Deep calls out.

I’m in. I decided to climb up that ladder.
To tighten the goggles. And hope that I don’t belly-flop.

And then I got sick. And then the tires on my car got stolen. And then my mom was in an accident that led to an emergency landing in an Intensive Care Unit.
And that was all just this weekend.

I’ve been awake since 2am, frozen on the end of the diving board.

I said yes. And no part of me doubts my God’s sovereignty or goodness.
His timing is perfect. His grace is sufficient.
But my knees won’t bend and my breath won’t catch.

That Faith Hall of Fame felt far away, as I had just enough faith to punch out text messages to three people to tell them about my mom.

I told them I could not pray.

And then some.
And a pastor praying in Germany.
Hands covered mine at Ten Thousand Homes and prayed in three different languages.

Carly B said, “Thank you for letting me do this with you.”

Misty said, “I know that numb feeling. I’ll be your voice.”

Pastor Steven said, “You are loved. And we’ll pray. You rest in that. Paralytic on the mat moments happen. So do friends who cut a hole in the rooftop when you’re unable to do it yourself.”

And then I understood.

The Faith Hall of Fame exists as a Family… just like our God.
Hands that cover yours.
Voices that speak on your behalf.
And being allowed to have a moment.

God won’t leave us at the end of the diving board and step back to see what happens.

He’ll listen to your friends.
He’ll see their faith standing in for yours.
He’ll look straight at you in your immobility and say, “Take heart…” (Matthew 9:2)

Today, from this faith-place where my legs won’t work, I feel the jostling prayers of my friends and family. I can almost hear their laboring to cut a hole in the roof and lower me to the feet of my Savior, the One whose faith-place carried Him into a tomb and out again. (Luke 5:18-26)

Maybe, just maaaaaabye, this is part of the pulse of abundant life… of going to new faith-places. Maybe today it’s okay for me to crawl into His cradling arms, to just rest on that mat to the rhythm of my friends’ prayers.  To lean into the Family.

The Hall of Famers all experienced frozen toes on the edge of the diving board. Most of them even belly-flopped a few times. Yet they are remembered for their faith that “conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised…” (Hebrews 11:33)

Today I will take heart. And I will be thankful. Because, with or without my words, His Kingdom is coming and His promises are being fulfilled.

Thank you for carrying me on this mat. And thank you for breaking through the barriers on my behalf.

This week, I will ask for an opportunity to carry someone else the way you have carried me. This week, I will call on the name of Jesus on behalf of another – for His Kingdom coming and for justice flowing. This week my faith is made stronger because of yours.

Take heart, your prayers will reach and carry another through my strengthened hands and heart.

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