"It is your business to learn to be peaceful and safe in God in every situation."
I read the words in Streams in the Desert and agreed with their truth. It was freeing because it was true. And they expressed what I have been trying to live and accomplish in my own life. Somehow they resonated with my understanding that the concepts of taking responsibility for our own stuff, not dumping it on others or projecting it outside ourselves, and yet resting in God and depending on Him can all be wedded together in our understanding and experience of Christ. I didn't know how it was true but I knew it was true.
This is a truth I want to proclaim to others, to help them to pull themselves up short like I have done when I was complaining or excusing myself about why I had the right to feel miserable or ungrateful. Yet I wonder how it will be received. Will others, especially those who are gripped with depression and intolerable circumstances, experience it as freeing or imprisoning? Will it become one more truth that is piled on top of others which just serve to condemn them further in their misery and inability to rise above their circumstances?
I don't know. I'm not sure how to present them, how to express them. But I do believe that if they are true, that truth will do its work. It will speak, like the words of scripture, straight to the heart of those who need to hear it. My job is not to figure out how, but just to speak their truth, as I am led.
So then I pondered why it is possible. I left the pondering with my deeper spirit, and let it speak to me. A few days later I woke up singing that childlike song, " I am a new creation". It seemed almost too simple for the complex issues I have been facing, and that I know others face. These days of increasing adult weariness and worries seem far from my years of singing this song delightedly to children, playing my guitar, leading worship and Sunday school, making butterflies and teaching about transformation and freedom in Christ.
The words washed over me: "I am a new creation, no more in condemnation, here in the grace of God I stand. My heart is overflowing, my love just keeps on growing, here in the grace of God I stand....and so on...."
"Here in the grace of God I stand." Ah, these are words I understand now. These words I live, every day, inside and out. I stand, when I want to rest, I stand when I want to sit, to lie down, to give up. I stand and I stand and I stand. In His strength and in His grace. His grace alone.
A child's song with an adult's punch line. Seemingly light and frothy, it flies like a butterfly into my spirit and lands a solid truth. Plunk. Like Luther I stand in the face of ignorance, stupidity, and outright destruction of truth.
Heavy words to describe the daily battles, but that is what they are all about. Sometimes they are just in ourselves and the little things that happen day to day. But it takes God's grace to stand in the midst of them, with lightness in our spirits, with overflowing joy, and with a willingness to praise Him for all that He has done.
And that is the connection. Because we stand in His grace, we can be peaceful and safe in any situation. Because we are new creations in Him, we can stand, without condemnation, from ourselves or others, with lightness in our spirits, never forgetting who we are. We are always His little children, but we stand boldly, with those big adult words, "Here in the grace of God I stand."