Oops, I need to a rectify a statement I made in the previous post, Being Transformed. I wrote: all of us are given this choice... to live a life trapped in death, or a life transcended above it. But that word above is not sitting well with me. Since when was there an above!!! We are not choosing to live life transcended above death, brokenness, problems, tragedies, sickness, etc... Perhaps the statement would better read, ...to live a life trapped in death, or a life transcended through it.
You know the song Still, by Hillsong? When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will rise with you above the storm... I've always loved that song! ...especially the first time I heard it when Adam and Heather Durkee performed it as a special at Moncton Wesleyan Church! (Do you guys remember that??!?!?) But the words have never really sat right with me. Maybe its just my overly critical thinker brain... Is God going to give me superpowers so I can spin around and stand there in spandex and a cape and fly over the waves like superman?? Ummmm. No.
I'm pondering this above, because it is so very rare that God ever sends us over and above a storm, and yet he does call us to transcend it. I think of the well-known verse, Those who hope in the Lord will... soar with wings as eagles (Is 40:31). This would tell me that there is a measure of rising above our storms, there is a transcendence. Still, our feet usually stay on the ground. Whether its the priests entering into the Jordan River, calling upon the faith to believe God to separate the waters. The Israelites entering the Red Sea, miles of ocean floor stretched out in front of them, waters held high above their heads with invisible hands. Or Peter being called out onto to the water, walking toward Jesus in the midst of the waves...
Note: I have read the Heavenly Man, and do believe the miraculous testimony of Brother Yun and the Christian revolution in China... and they did have some very interesting transporting experiences... :) A transcendence by faith that would seem to have lifted their feet off the earth and transported them through supernatural means... Make of that what you will. :)
But otherwise, our feet typically stay on the ground! We're stuck having to do earthly things that seem counter to a life in the spirit, ascending higher and higher into the heavenly places. Jesus rose off the ground in the transfiguration, and the ascension... and He does say that we will do even greater things the He did... But I am mostly bound to my human shell. My feet are bound to this ground that is cursed. My skin dries out in the heat. My body shivers in the cold. I am tied down by my humanity... This is why we use the phrase, down to earth :)
Is this bad?? Does it lack faith to be down to earth? Is there any merit to the saying, Don't be too spiritually minded that you are no earthly good???
God made us human on purpose, right? Of course it needs to be redeemed and sanctified and glorified... but isn't glorified humanity the masterpiece of God? Isn't humanity, in its purest form, good? (Gen 1) Earth and dust and all??
There is an amazing image that God keeps putting before the eyes of my spirit... Miles of stretched out desert are laid out before me. I am parched. The sun is hot and blinding. But the Spirit is dancing all about me. The Father is watching. Jesus appears on my right, slightly behind me. Walk through, he says. I have been climbing the mountain of grief for months and now I have to walk through a desert??? Oh, it gets better, He says. This is the wilderness of temptation. Walk through, and honor Me. Walk through the desert, a wilderness of temptation, and honor You?? Oh, it gets even better, He says. Walk through it, honor Me, and let go of the past. All of it? Yes. (You won't lose it all, but you do have to let it all go). And that's it? No. Walk through the desert. Honor Me. Let go of the past. And hone in on My voice... Step each foot onto this burning, dusty sand. Look to Me, with eyes and ears open to My Spirit. Honor Me and walk, one foot in front of the other, over and over again. Walk away from the past. Let it all go and don't look back.
But why? Why this path? Because Natasha, as you walk, I will make waters to burst forth out of the sand and streams to flow from these rocks of stone!! My fountains of living water will burst forth from within your soul and you will bear fruits in abundance!
There is this immense contrast to the abundant life in the Spirit and the broken barrenness of our humanity, and yet the one must meet the other. When I look at the fast approaching Fall, I see bills and school and schedules and single parenting... exhaustion, loneliness, and grief! But I also see a rich season of blessing in the spirit. My feet must touch this cursed ground! And my spirit must soar into the holiest of places... How is it both and? We can't escape this life. Nor can we escape death. But maybe faith allows us to transcend through... This is the victory of the cross.
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (Jn 12:25) Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt 16:25)