Have you experienced that moment? The one that instantly redefines priority?
When there’s nothing left to give; no remnant of love at your disposal. When the day turns to night and the light in your eye fades. When hope seems to be a distant reality or maybe you’re beginning to believe it’s just a lie. When the reservoir of power from within you fails or is depleted. Or the tsunami hits. Or the knock on the door brings the realization of your worst nightmare. Or the levee breaks. Or they leave. Or you meet the moment you’ve dreaded and the truth is out. Or you’ve just heard the truth and by all conventional wisdom you have every right to quit… to leave. When every fear seems instantly confirmed, you truly are alone. It is actually real you feel, no one breathing loves you… or they just can’t, the need, the pain, the loss, the confusion, the questions, the sorrow… it’s just too overwhelming. This thing is too much.
What is that moment?
When it happens does life slow down? Does it speed up? Do questions flood your entire being or does anguish? Can you even feel? Do you fall empty and numb or does the intensity of reality create a tension whose origin is your deepest spot then like a lightning strike shocking every muscle in your body into the sharpest physical pain a human could ever know?
Is the moment slow…
Is time still…
Is this moment in real time but now constant, a never ending torture…
Is time speeding by in a confusing blur?
What is this moment? Can LIFE resume? Or did I ever even really live?
There’s this place that is our default residence with false confidence and fake peace. Our own little reality crafted and confined by the maximum amount of knowledge we possess, which at any given moment defines possibility and truth. We are the masters of this reality that cannot be infringed upon as we stand guard over the deepest recesses of self, guarded by this protective illusion. Like a child hiding under the impenetrable power of a cotton sheet when the fear of an imagined intruders knife is our new master. Our reality askew, we trust and hope in the lies that are now our true god, and now in our own messiness and delusion a sick comfort in filth is found… as long as we are the god of it. Tragically, humans can presume to wield God as though He’s their own possession within a desire to be more than we are on our own. Deception and illusion of control our actual motivation for everything we pursue. No peace, just chains. No sight, just darkness, confusion and blindness. No hope, just despair and disbelief. No trust, only anxiety and desperation. No rescue just condemnation.
And then there’s a moment. A pause in time… or a quickening, surreal and ending, yet somehow an intensity of life never known before, the senses heightened creating a different place that looks unreal, new colors, new smells new sensations, new understanding. What is that moment? When it seems the world is over, our lives have shattered and there’s nothing more, then within the fragments of our own kingdom a glimpse of a reflection of magnificence never known before. It catches the gaze of the hardest of hearts. It entrances the soul and a beckoning ensues. One more breath is taken and it’s true! The air has new power and the body compelled to inhale it again. It’s borrowed life, an accepted apprehensive rescuing, at least for that moment. Breathe… Breathe again, and now it’s an experience of a new reality unbounded by human comprehension, a power unbridled and counter to everything ever known to be real a revolutionary new experience.
Is it possible there really is more than our maximum amount of knowledge? In the times our maximum is proven inadequate, it has been seen. Those moments reveal truths almost impossible to explain. From the depths of pain comes the purity of Love, superhuman. Within the pains of anguish, inadequacy and helplessness comes the answer of hope. The voice, like a whisper on a gentle breeze, is only felt or heard in the stillness of that moment or in the sharp pain that jolts our guts into attention.
What about that question that looms… Maybe there is more? Maybe the miracles we’re looking for come in our frailty. Maybe for those who give Him permission when life locks us into His gaze, somehow willing to allow our lungs to be stretched when we are too tired and without strength; overwhelmed with burden and finally broken, finally willing to accept His resuscitation.
It’s the only way we finally, really know He… is not... the enemy.
"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed." — Amy Carmichael
And then, an awakening, new eyes, new breath, new freedom, ridiculous love unbounded by self. New permissions and a willing embrace of new ways that stretch infinitely beyond our maximum and suddenly fuel dreams we didn’t know we had. No more do lies withstand it. His voice is now known and it speaks of truths not commonly understood. It beckons us to actions in scenarios of hopelessness and strife, now filled with confidence having experienced the miraculous and having seen His face. It explains things not known and stills the souls of those able to listen, while sustaining the trust in a God who is truly good, whose love truly has the power to erase any chasm between you and Him… between them and Him… between you and me… so we can be one, again.
What is that moment?
How big would God need to be to exist within our maximum amount of knowledge?
That’s not big enough to reach through my pain and it’s not big enough to answer my need and it’s not big enough to reach into the places of desperation I see behind your eyes. It’s not big enough to fulfill these dreams or restore life or bring new hope. It’s not big enough to love someone undeserving or surrender my rights. It’s not big enough to forgive. It’s not big enough to be more than who I can already be.
But, in this moment, it’s plain to see that whatever I can be is not nearly enough.
So, how big would God need to be to handle your anger or your doubt? How big does He need to be to absorb your worst punishment, your most intense question? How big to handle all that you have to muster all you can dish out? How big?
Are you tired? Have you been depleted? Or do you love someone who is done? Is it your best friend, your spouse, your parent? How big does He need to be? Can I bring myself to let go of my own kingdom long enough to Believe He is who He says He is?
What is that moment that you realize your maximum is not enough?
Is it now? Will you listen for the whisper on the faintest of breezes? Will you breathe Him in… and again… and again?
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Not Destroyed. Let Love Live.