Those early months after Lynn's death were supersaturated with the sense of total devastation and loss, the aftermath of a powerful bomb that leaves nothing but dust and ashes... catastrophic loss, as Jerry Sittser called it.
I had stood and looked around me. All was lost. Nothing was left but the ruins of a once prominent and beautiful city.
Interestingly, www.blueletterbible.org says this of the widow: a city stripped of its inhabitants and riches is represented under the figure of a widow.
The vulnerability. The shame. The emptiness. The loss. So clearly depicted in the profound depth of this image.
Right now, my heart throbs for broken women. What label are you wearing?? widowed? divorced? single? barren? adulterer? harlot? The heart of God pounds within me, pressing to come forth in fiery passion. My God is jealous over these women!! ...as He has been over me. For I am His Bride. You are His BRIDE!
Will the God of everlasting love, of absolute goodness and sovereign power, the God who set this story in motion with the beginning of creation, the God who patiently and diligently drew Israel back to Himself again and again, ultimately to send forth His own Son, His Word becoming flesh, taking on the form of a man and being obedient unto death, even death on a cross, to be raised again to new life, to conquer hell, to overcome this world of death, to make a way of salvation, to ascend into heaven victorious, to sit at the right hand of God, having gained the authority in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and to pour out His very Spirit upon all flesh, the same Spirit that rose Christ from the grave to dwell in us...
Will this God, leave His Bride stripped of her inhabitants and riches??? Will He leave her vulnerable? Will He leave her in shame? In scorn? In emptiness? In woundedness? In fear? In lack? In poverty?
My God, the God of the universe, the One I know and love and serve with every breath, each belonging to Him... This God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Great I Am... He will not.
I am the Bride of Christ. Are you? Are you His? If you are His, if you are in Christ, then you have a rich inheritance, a sure and secure inheritance of a heavenly kingdom that you hold right now in your hand.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1).
God allowed me to stand in total devastation and loss, in ruins, a city stripped of its inhabitants and riches, in utter darkness and despair... And in that place, He is teaching me about the riches of His Kingdom. He is teaching me about my identity as a child of God, a daughter of the King. He is teaching me about my inheritance in Christ.
Because of catastrophic loss, I am learning to live in the supernatural. It is not some hyped up experience of super-spirituality. It is rather a knowing of who I am and what is true.
Am I ruined? Am I shamed? Am I empty? Am I abandoned to darkness and despair for all of eternity? Is God no longer good? Is unfaithful or unworthy of my life and devotion? In my natural self, I would have said, Yes. But as a BRIDE, as a daughter of the King, as new creation in Christ Jesus, born again of the Spirit into a kingdom, a family, that is super-natural, that supersedes this realm of depraved humanity... I am rich. I am clothed in white. I have been given every spiritual blessing under heaven. I am anointed. I am beloved. I am His bride, and He has betrothed me to Himself in righteousness, in justice, even in faithfulness, I am His. I am bought with a price. I am not my own. Therefore I stand, confident in His goodness. Confident in His faithfulness. Confident in His ability to make change and power to bear on my life*.
Every day, I must work to believe this. I labor to rest in His trustworthiness (Heb 4:11). I look at my feet. Where are they standing? Are they standing in ruins? In dust and ashes? in a depraved humanity, poor and in lack? Or are they standing in a wide and spacious place (Ps 31:8)? Are they standing "in Christ"? Are they standing in a realm where human feet can walk on water, can know joy, and can be contented in the Perfect Peace of His Presence?
This is an incredibly difficult "job" that my Father has assigned to me. To stand in absolute lack and devastation, wretched "widowhood", declaring His Kingdom come, and His will to be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. I am not in lack. My cup is full. Therefore, I can give and love freely. For I, too, am jealous over His Bride. I, too, long to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Ps 27:13). I long to take the hand of each and every woman who resides in ruins, and gently guide her into His glorious riches (Phil 4:19), to be healed and restored in His everlasting love, as I am being restored, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute...
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)