We’ve all seen birth, whether that be in real life experience or from watching some vague rendition of it on television. Regardless of how much or how little the process we’ve seen, this line is universally known: “Okay now, PUSH!”
I was awakened by The Spirit pretty early this morning, as I have been every morning for the past month or so, and because I have been enshrouded by apathy as of late, I rolled over and buried my nose under the covers intent upon recovering the dream that had been interrupted. I heard in my spirit as I drifted back off to sleep, “Push against the wall.” Sounded like way too much work way too early in the morning.
I am ashamed to admit that I have fallen far from where I was in terms of submission to God and commitment to His Will. I have excused my lax approach to fasting and prayer these last few months as His Spirit has spoken words that, embarrassingly, have fallen on my deaf ears. And even I have wondered, “What is my problem!?” An hour after I rolled over this morning, His Mercy fall in droplets and interrupted my dreams again. Well, His Mercy fell in the form of rain from my ceiling … God has a funny way of getting our attention sometimes.
I lay there for a few minutes listening to water hit the edge of my bed and wondered if I could sleep through the sound of it … completely committed to laziness. Then each tiny noise was followed by a tiny splash on my face. There was no way I was going to be able to sleep through that. So I got up and decided to finally come to the feet of Jesus in submission. Let me tell you something, God is definitely longsuffering to have welcomed me back so passively after putting up with my rebelliousness for the past few months. Yes, His Mercy runs deep.
I knelt by the edge of the couch, in lieu of a dry bedside, and was quiet before Him. I know that we are beckoned to come boldly to the throne of Grace, but I had been running from Him and felt both humbled and a little afraid. A rebellious child knows there is safety in silence sometimes. But in His infinite mercy, which is beyond my understanding, He lavished on me. Like the Father who runs to His prodigal child, The Lord opened His arms for me and wrapped me in an embrace I clearly did not deserve. He’s so good to His children.
After pouring out my heart and allowing Him to rid me of all the pain, fear, and hesitation, I sat before Him with my Word opened and began to read:
“Incline your ear and come to Me. Hear and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you … Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on Him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.” (Is. 55:3, 6-7)
Waves of mercy, waves of grace. Thank you, Father, for being to patient with your rebellious child. You know that I have not been running after fleshly things, but for the sake of flesh. I am reluctant to surrender all of it to you.
Dear reader, it is not that I have run after worldliness. I have run from a calling. I have run from a work that seems impossible to fulfill. I have run out of fear that I will disappoint My Father. That’s why the prodigal son ran. He had squandered what his father had entrusted to him. Sure, his pursuit of cheap thrills is what started the whole mess. But isn’t that what we’re after when we refuse to go deeper in God? We’re content with cheap thrills that require very little from us. The going deeper is quite terrifying to a person whose comfortable on the surface. But that comfort is a harlot. She will take you on a short ride and rob you blind in the process. I wonder to myself, what all have I forfeited these past few months for the sake of fleshly comfort? What guidance have I missed? What time have I surrendered? What accomplishments have been lost?
Not only was I afraid, I was discouraged. I have submitted so many things to God and been given promises yet to be fulfilled. I have grown weary in the waiting, and disappointed at His timing. His Word, His promises which had sustained me were whispered so many times that I had become numb to them. What was once a Living Word inside of me seemed suddenly to be cliché. My spirit, no longer in strong communion with God, had become numb to the power of His voice.
This morning, however, His Word became alive again. He whispered softly to me:
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it … But on this one shall I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word … ‘Shall I bring to the time of birth and not cause delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?’ says your God.” (Is. 55:11, 66:9)
Oh my heart! We’re almost there! And like a new parent who’s read all the materials on how to care for this baby still trembles at the thought of so much responsibility over something so tender and fragile, I tremble. I asked Him, “What do you need from me to accomplish this birth? His gentle reply was, “Push!”