I chew on this for a long time, savoring what He has given Me. I have heard these words before, but they never touched me like this before. Many times I have felt that those I have trusted have spoken against me, turned against me. I begin to see that He has not been behind the words that have been said to me. That it was not Him who inspired the words that rejected me. Perhaps, it did not even please Him that those tings were said. I never that that it please Him specifically, but I guess I had not really thought of it displeasing Him either.
“Those words were not from Me, child. I was never in that.” Tenderly He touches my face, bringing me back from the past into the moment with Him. “I am your refuge.” He reminds me.
I begin to realize, finally, that I am not alone. I never was. He was there for all of it although I did not understand it then.
“Come now, you cannot go unarmed.”
I realize that my sword and belt and shield are still learning by the tree. Quietly we walk there together.
As I gather them, I ask, “Please teach me about these. I do not feel I really understand them”
Smiling, He takes them from my hands. “You already know what these are, truth, faith and My word. They are linked together. Truth is your foundation, holding everything together, supporting everything.” He fastens the wide belt firmly around my waist. “Truth comes from my Word and from faith, they are linked. It is your using of truth that holds you together. It is what is deep within your heart, not head knowledge. This is what has become truth to you.” He hands me the shield. “This is faith. This is what you are willing to believe Me for. What are you willing to ask of Me and trust that I will do when your faith is in Me. I am your refuge. You will not be shaken. It requires a strength and tenacity of decision to hold on to what you know is true. And this…” He hands me the sword, “This is My word.”
JN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
“My Word is powerful, alive with My life. You can use it to the extent that you have faith in what has become truth to you. Knowing My Word alone is not sufficient. It must be truth to you, under girded by faith in it.”
I listen, concentrating on what He is saying. Do I believe what He has just shared with Me? Is it truth to me? Do I have faith in what He has spoken to me? I glance over my shoulder toward the door He has shown me, the back at Him. I must, I have no choice. To overcoming this thing I must believe what He has said and act on it.
“Yes, daughter, that is the way. What you have is sufficient to overcome, you must choose what you will do with it. Whether you will use it or not.” He explains.
“Yes, Papa, I understand. I will choose to believe what you have said. You are my refuge. I will hide in you for You are on my side.” I reply carefully. Words are cheap, I must do more than simply speak them. I need to walk them out as well. That is what the challenge will be. “Papa, I just realized, I will need light too,” I remember the darkness of the abyss.
“I am your Light and I will be with you.” He replies, taking my hand. I am reassured as we walk toward the doorway. We wade through the water to get to the door. There are a couple of feet of ground between the water and the door, so standing is awkward.
He reaches out and opens the doors with surprising ease. Few doors seem to have opened so easily. He ushers me through before Him. The stairs here are not open as they were at the other door. We can only take a few steps before we come to a wall, a large brick wall blocking the way.
At first I do not know what the wall is, but then I realize that I know this wall. It is the wall that stands between my heart and those who try to be close to me. This is the wall that keeps me from reaching out and allowing others to meet my needs.
Suddenly, I see how I have struggled and fought to meet my own needs, even at the expense of meeting the needs of others. In my independence I have taken care of myself to make sure my needs were met, needs which should have been submitted to others, and failed to meet needs that were my responsibility to meet. I have failed to submit, allowed my independence to stand between myself and others such that no one needs were met.
“Papa. Forgive me!” I cry out, astonished at what I have seen. “I never knew I never knew the depth of my sin! Forgive me! I repent. I submit, I submit my needs to you Papa God!” It is so very clear not, I see what I have done there is no question, not excuse. It is before me and the stain is unmistakable. I sob both in repentance and in frustration. How should all this be there? I never before realized the depth of the sin within me. “Please, please, forgive me, Papa!”
I see something more now, there is a further cry in me, I want to cry out for restoration as well, but find I am reluctant to.
“Why do you not ask child?” He presses me, not allowing me to dodge the issue I do not truly want to face.
I do not want to answer, yet dare not disobey His press for an answer. Finally, I whisper, “Because…why should you do this for me? Why would you say yes? I have caused this in my sin. These are the consequences of my sin—why would you want to step in to change that which I have so earned?” I cannot lift my eyes to look at Him, I am so afraid of Him in this moment. I am guilty, how can I ask for anything?
I feel more than see the sternness of His expression. I know He is not pleased with me. My heart sinks, feels tight and cold within me.
“What kind of parent do you think I am? To bring you to a place of repentance without hope of restoration? To change your heart and breath life into it only to leave it for death in a situation without hope or promise? If one of your own sons were to recognize and repent of his own disobedience would you not move heaven and earth to bring him into fullness of inheritance?” His voice is very firm, almost angry now.
Meekly, I reply, “Yes, I would, once I saw the change of heart was a real change.”
“Then how much less do you expect Me to do for you?” He demands.
I am afraid now. “I don’t know, I don’t know! “ My tears flow freely now, “Why would you do anything for me? Why would you care?” The words tumble out unbidden, pouring from the wounds of my heart, from the voice of this place.
Suddenly, He is holding me, allowing me to draw strength from Him. “Because I love you.” He whispers in my ear, holding me more tightly still. “Ask of me…”
It is hard to draw breath through my sobs, but finally I am able to whisper, “Please, Papa, please heal, please bring restoration. Restore what the locust has eaten and the canker worm destroyed. Restore what my sin has destroyed!” I am shaking even as I ask this.
“I will child, you will see. I will.” He replies softly in my ear. He holds me as the shaking finally stops.
“Show me the source of this, Papa. Where does this come from?” I want to get to the heart of the problem, to truly and finally change.
Nodding, He shows me a picture of my birth, prematurely taken from my mother’s womb, suddenly cut off all source and supply. I struggle to breathe but no one realizes, there is not help offered. I struggle for breathe, finally taking in ragged gasp, then crying out in fear. Still no one realizes my distress, no one comes to me in my needs. I am cold and afraid and alone. There is no one to meet my needs! I must meet them myself—no one can be trusted—no one will give me what I need!
My heart breaks at this picture. There is no one who could confirm this picture to me, but my heart confirms it clearly in the depth of pain that rises in response.
“Forgive me this vow! Papa, please, forgive me this vow! Please break down these structures and restore, rebuild, renew. Tear down this wall!” Raising my eyes to Him, I see cracks appear in the wall now. I rush to it and am able to pull one large stone known! I hand it to Him. He crushes it in Him powerful hands, the pink powder falling from it looks like crushed granite paving material. It covers the stairs thinly. Pulling a second stone down, I hand it to Him to be crushed.