Monday, July 7, 2014

Building a Palace

The last series of posts beginning with The Hound of Heaven Winks, garnered a lot of page views, shares, private messages, emails, and teary phone calls. And I'm sure many kind people kept their opinions to themselves when they thought I'd lost my mind or joined a cult! One expressed concern was that I have been too open about my son's private life. Perhaps I share too much. But I share to the Glory of a loving God who I want to make visible.

The calls of encouragement and thanks I received far outnumbered the ones I interpreted as assessing my insanity. After all, I was writing about "spiritual warfare"! Angels and demons! Casting out demons! You know, stuff Jesus talked about! 

Many readers have asked, and yes, Roma made the trip to Idaho, the build up to which was documented in the previous posts. The journey to Idaho was a divine arrangement by a miraculous act of a merciful, gracious, active, persistent, and supernatural God, and servants of God who answered the Call along the way. Every experience Roma has lived adds to his growing testimony that I pray he will one day share. Will it be soon? Or must he endure many more stories of how God found him as he was running away or bouncing along in the pit of hell? I don't know. Roma is only 19. 

Did I understand at 19? I might have thought did. I grew up in the church. I did all the "right" things, for the most part. I never doubted God's existence. However, I didn't know I was asleep in the faith, comfortably just coasting along. I was shaken awake in my fourth decade with an experience I describe as the "scales falling off my eyes." I had been blind, but suddenly I could see! I didn't understand then that it is a process that continues throughout life. Powerful readings, conversations, and experiences have peeled additional layers of scales back on a regular basis over the years. Every time God reveals a new bit of His Truth to me, I become more curious and thirsty for more Living Water. To know and love God, and to make Him real to others has become my life's greatest desire. 

When I was experiencing my born-again epiphany, a trusted friend who knew what I was going through sent me an article that led me to a book that resonated with me. I wrote about it in my post, Quantum Change. The book by the same name is not about "religion," it is a psychology book. Check it out. I am convinced what I experienced 14 years ago was indeed a Quantum Change, where my priorities changed through no effort of my own and I met God for the first time in a powerful, intimate, life-changing way. 

I have prayed for this kind of life-changing experience for my children and everyone I pray for! I didn't deserve it. I didn't go looking for it, because I didn't know I needed it or that it was even possible.  It was an extravagant Gift from God that I initially tried to reject.  

So I circle back, as always, to the God who relentlessly pursues us. All the time.

C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity: "Christ says, 'Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good . . .Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.'"

What are humans, that God is mindful of us? I ask myself this question all the time. We know what God wants from us.We are most often not having any part of it, so we keep running! We wander off, God comes after us, offering His best. We are always wondering how painful God's best for us will turn out to be.

I wish I could paraphrase C.S. Lewis, but no one can express ideas like he can, so I will end with another quote from Mere Christianity,

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."

We would be wise to let Him have His way!

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