Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly … in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
2 Corinthians 6.1- 13, The Message (emphasis added)
This was my devotional reading for today, and it simply refused to leave me alone. I went back to it countless times, reading and re-reading, seeking what I was supposed to be looking for, listening for what God wanted to say. Throughout the process, certain phrases started jumping off the page at me and, not knowing what to do with them, I started praying.
That’s when it hit me.
This is me!
I’ve sensed this change, felt this change in myself in the past little while. There’s a passion, a hunger, in me for Him unlike any I’ve ever experienced before. I see Him working in my life, all around me, and my heart leaps within me in excitement and sheer joy. He is making me terrifically alive. He has taken my life and stretched it — stretched me even — to make room for all the things He has for me. I see now that I have entered the “wide-open, spacious life!”
Then He reminded me of Isaiah 54, the promise that He spoke into my heart well over a year ago. Turning back to it, my eyes fell on verse 2:
Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
I don’t have the words to describe what it’s like to see confirmation of something spoken into your heart, to see the beginnings of a promise being fulfilled. It so increases my faith each time it happens, and I become nothing short of overwhelmed by my faithful, loving,good God…
I pray that you join me in celebrating Him today.