I was twenty-years-old and spending my first summer in Asia. The sub-tropical heat forced me indoors, so I retreated to my third floor room to spend solitary time before the Word of God and a singular, rotary fan.
All summer, a certain long-distance relationship had remained forefront in my mind. He was tall, dark and extremely cute, with a sense of humor that often caught me off-guard. Despite our happenstance first encounter on an airplane, we’d exchanged numbers and I’d seen him several times before this summer missions adventure.
He too was spending his summer overseas, with an assignment similar to mine, albeit in another country. His aerograms were filled with joy and depth, stories and Scripture, affection and interest. I’d heard him pray in person and now as I read his prayers put to pen, they only increased the growing interest I felt for this extraordinary young man.
As I listened to the oscillatory hum that afternoon, memories of childhood flooded my mind. Since my thirteenth birthday, I’d been praying for a future mate. Beginning with a request that he could wash dishes (since my dad did not), my requirements had grown over the years. Now, I included elements of prayer, Scripture, and leadership with this guy perfectly fitting the bill.
“Give Me this relationship,” came God’s Voice, so clearly I could almost hear Him audibly. Startled, I diverted my eyes to the open Bible on my lap. God spoke again in print.
“Take now… (the one) whom you love…and offer him there as an….offering” (Genesis 22:2).
I balked at such a request. “Wasn’t this exactly what I’d prayed for? Wasn’t this a relationship that could please God fully?”
“Give Me this relationship,” came the Reply.
I don’t know how long I hesitated. Nor how long I argued. The thought occurred to me that maybe I could just offer this to Him and He would stay my hand at the last minute — just like He had in Abraham’s case. But this, He did not do. As He continued to lead me up this mountain, it became crystal clear He wanted me to lay down the relationship. Finally and completely.
In an anguish of soul I hadn’t experienced to date, my prayer reached the appointed plateau. As an act of my will, I placed this relationship before the Lord and felt it severed from my soul. Sobbing and exhausted with internal distress, I lay him before the Lord.
Then, in a radiance whose memory still causes my heart to pulse, I saw the Lord. With brilliance of Light and glow of Presence, He lifted me into His rest. Splendor so filled my heart that any lack of the previous moment vanished amidst His fulness. Like sinking into a warm whirlpool on a frigid day, my entire being was immersed in His bathing Light. Resplendent, nourishing, invigorating, strengthening, His Light absorbed every dark place, gleaming without glaring. Diamond-brilliant without blinding.
His Light was worth it all. His Grandiose Presence was far better than my granulated present. None else could compare. I gazed with wide-open spiritual eyes at His Remarkable Countenance, realizing that in the very glimpse of Glory I was being transformed. He was crystal, transparent, flawless, brilliant, incorruptible….yes, indescribable. I bowed awe-struck and speechless, and to this day remain unable to fully describe His glory.
What is your well-loved Isaac? What do you need to lay before Him?
He asks for your gift
in order to give Him room
to fill you to overflowing.
Praise You that You are Light and in You there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). You are not afraid of the dark and go boldly into darkness so that Your radiance shines there (John 1:5). As I stand in Your Light, I clearly see the dark places still residing within me (Psalm 36:9). Send out Your Light and Your Truth to lead me into further Light (Psalm 43:3). I want to focus on Your remarkable Countenance with wide-opened eyes, so as to be filled with Your Glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Enlighten the eyes of my heart to truly know You (Ephesians 1:18). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
After a physically exhausting day with children or an emotionally exhausting day on the job, I often find myself craving power. I search the Scripture and pray that I, like Paul, will be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might” (Colossians 1:11).
Yep. That would just fit the bill for my needs today. Lots of power in God-sized qualities.
But then the Father urges me to re-examine, so that He may keep revealing. “Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.”
I hear His still, small voice: “There are occasions, Kandy, when you will need a mighty surge of supernatural power to achieve a great feat of strength. But most of the time, you are most in need of my power for the acquisition of all faithfulness and fortitude. That’s really where your weakness lies.”
How true. More than power to complete my tasks in record speed, I need the strength to endure a monotonous day with grace. More than energy to keep going until two in the morning, I need the ability to endure long, plodding days without complaining.
What an insight. The Lord is more interested in giving me energy to say “No!” to the thoughts of the evil one than to grant all my healing prayers answered. He knows that giving me power for miracles will just inflate my image of myself.
“Like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My Hand,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 18:6). Sometimes His fingerprints come in the form of great fruit bearing and joy. Sometimes, they will seem quite painful and without purpose. Either way, He will “accomplish what concerns me” (Psalm 138:8). My best reaction is with unwavering conviction of His Love for me. I must hold fast with certainty that He will not forsake the clay that lies in His Hands.
The strength He gives most is the strength to wait. In season and out of season He desires my trust. In forming me into the image of His Son, He is molding a person who can endure. Whether the endurance means the fog of the unknown, the indecision or unfairness of others, the lack of fulfilling ministry, or the existence of crippling emotions. He doesn’t remove the world, but reveals that I can be a conquerer while still living here (Romans 8:37).
May it be, Lord. May it be.