Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rescued to Walk Worthy

I was selfish, and rude, wicked to the core of my heart. Actually, I was a murderer. I had killed my very own defenseless child, completely vulnerable in my womb, and I destroyed her, in the name of fear, selfishness, inconvenience.

From there it wasn't enough that I had destroyed my own child, I lied about it, deceived so many people, including the baby's father, who I proclaimed to love. I didn't do it alone, but the ultimate responsibility fell to me, and in the end it was my own actions and responsibility that I had to come to terms with.

For a long time "coming to terms" meant being angry, bitter, selfish and harsh. I lashed out at people, continued a life of deception, keeping those forced outside the decision in the dark. I didn't want to be the only one, so I tried to take others down with me. Even though it hurt me emotionally to do what I had done, I tried to talk other people into doing the same. I wanted other innocent unborn children to die too, so I wouldn't have to question my own actions. So I wouldn't be the only one.

I tried to mask the deep pain I carried from my decision, but the day came when it all caught up with me. After trying for years to keep my dirty little secret I had to come face to face with what I had done.

When I stood face to face with my sin, mired in its consequences, it devastated me. I was completely overwhelmed as I saw the darkness in my own heart. As I stood there and realized all I had done, not just in relation to my abortion, but in every area of my life, the lies, the deception, the selfishness, it overwhelmed, and I thought I would drown.

It was like quicksand, I felt myself sinking. I thought surely I would drown. And it was then that He came to me. I'd made Him out to be a myth or a legend. I had disrespected Him, in ways that the word "disrespect" don't begin to describe. I had mocked Him. I had practically spit in His face, but He reached out to me, and pulled me out. Even as He pulled me out, I resisted Him, fought Him, and spit in His face again.

He stood on sure ground, and He reached out to me. I was wounded, parts of me broken from the pressure of the sinking sand. I had open wounds, and internal bleeding, and I had done it all to myself. I was a wreck. I had wounded myself, and I had killed my own child. I had hurt and lied to others. I was sinking deeper and deeper and deeper.

In order to pull me out, He stepped off of the solid ground and climbed into the pit. He got into the filth with me, He took on my pain, He took on my overwhelming pressure. He got beneath me, and took all of His strength, and He pushed me out. Then painfully, He managed to climb out behind me.

I was so broken. He took me in His arms, and with no thought of Himself, or what I had done to get us both here in this ugly, painful place, He began to care for me. Gently, lovingly, He began to wash me clean. Careful and mindful of my many broken places, He kindly washed away the mud and filth that covered me. He was meticulous, He didn't miss a spot, completely clean, He washed me.

I was cold, my clothes were tattered and torn. He took His robe that was laying there, clean and white, and He replaced my clothes with it. Gently and lovingly, He began to tend to my wounds and my broken places. His touch was gentle, but capable. He washed the wounds, reset the broken bones, and even did surgery to stop the bleeding inside. And then He held me.

I was so damaged, I didn't even know how to walk anymore. I didn't even have the strength to stand. So he stayed with me. When I couldn't even stand, He sat with me, held me in His lap, lovingly stroking my hair, speaking sweetly into my ear. He told me of His love for me. Told me about the hope there was, to never have to go back into that pit.

When I first tried to stand, I leaned on Him. When my legs buckled, He caught me. When I began to cry from the strain, He pulled me back into His lap, and held me a while longer. He was patient, continually holding me, letting me lean on Him, till I was able to bear my own weight.

When it was time to try to learn to walk again, He never left me. At first He really carried me more than I was trying to walk on my own. He stood behind me, placing my feet on His, both of His arms wrapped around me, He was my absolute support. We walked that way for a long time, but eventually, gently, he let me bear a little more of my own weight as time went on. He never left me, He stayed with me, when I would stumble, He upheld me, He never let me fall.

Eventually, I was well. I almost never felt the pain anymore. He even helped me get strong. He showed me how to build stronger muscles, He taught me how to run, how to soar. Things are different though, I never walk alone, He still stays with me.

I never knew love like that before. He came to me at my very worst, and He rescued me. I had nothing to offer Him, and He gave me everything. He sacrificed Himself to save me. The wounds and scars He took on to save me, never left Him.

He has taken me back to the pit. We have stood over it. I had no idea how deep it was, how close I had come to utter destruction. He held me safely, but allowed me to lean over it and peer down inside. I saw the pools of blood there. It was His blood. I could see the indentation, where I pushed down on Him as He lifted me out. It's obvious that I was the one that caused Him to bleed. It's a horrible sight as I look down into the pit. But I linger there, because I don't want to forget what I was rescued from.

As we stand back on the solid ground where he has placed me, I can see that the pit isn't far. I am very aware of how easily, if I walked too closely, I could fall back in again. He alone stands between me and the pit, but I could walk right past Him if I wanted to. As I stand face to face with Him, He looks into my eyes. He looks into my heart.

He tells me He doesn't ever want me to go back in the pit. Lovingly, He holds my face. "You belong to Me now, and I don't ever want you to go back in to that pit." I think to myself, "of course I wouldn't," but as I look over, I can see it's enticing. I feel it begin to draw me. I see the gentle grade that leads back to the pit. I think to myself, "I can get pretty close and not actually slip in."

As though He can read my mind, He turns my face back towards His, and He looks into my soul. "Diana, you must NEVER forget what it was like inside that pit. You cannot forget the pain. You cannot forget the hopelessness. You cannot forget how alone you were, and what almost happened to you there."

"You can never forget, what I went through, to bring you out of that pit."

Gripping my hand tightly we turned. "Look at the grade toward the pit," He said. The incline may not be steep, but the slope is slippery. You have to remain on this solid ground," He says pointing to the ground below us.

It was hard for me to tell the difference just from looking with my eyes, and I told Him so. I asked Him, "how else can I know? Is there another way?"

Putting His arm around me, He drew me close. Smiling He said, "Yes, whatever you do, don't leave My side. I am always on the solid ground. If you are close to Me, Holding tightly to Me, then you know, the ground is solid, your foot is sure."

I smiled confidently, that seemed easy enough. Why would I ever leave Him? After all He had done. I laughed. I was certain, I would never wander from His side. I turned looking back toward the pit, shaking me head. "No way," I blurted out, "I'll never walk away from You to go toward the pit again." Something distracted me for a moment, and I took a step. I continued to laugh at the thought of walking away. "I know what it means to stay close to You, I would never give that up. I know what You did, I know what you rescued me from." And then suddenly, I felt my foot begin to slip. When I turned around, I saw the space that had come between us. He seemed so far away. When I turned behind me again, the pit seemed even closer.

"Jesus!" I cried out, and He grabbed my hand. He pulled me back to Him. He pointed down. "The solid ground, is a narrow path. And stepping away from Me, is so much easier than you could ever know. It's not enough to avoid the pit, you have to walk with Me, on purpose. It's not a matter of avoiding the pits, it's a matter of holding on to me constantly, not relaxing and letting go for even a moment."

I hadn't meant to walk away, I'd just let go. Distracted or drawn, the fact is, I went back toward the pit, and I let go of His hand. The incline was small, the ground not steep, but the slope was slippery, and I was only steps away from falling back again.

Taking my face into His hands again, He said, "You belong to Me. You need to walk where I say, because after what I went through to save you, it really is the very least you can do.'


Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God
in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20


I get accused of being legalistic, and judgmental, a lot. But the fact is, that it's not because I think I am better than anyone, or wiser than anyone. In fact that's not it at all.

I remember what God rescued me from, and most days, by His grace, I remember what He went through to rescue me. I get distracted from it sometimes, it isn't hard to do. I get caught up in life, in self, in my own desires. Focusing on Him, keeping Him at the lead, as Lord, is not effortless, it's hard work. The world is a distracting place. We have to be in it, but we don't have to be of it.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2

I only have my life, because God rescued me from myself. He made the trade, and took my broken and sinful life, and gave His all, so I could be saved, from myself and an eternity apart from Him.

The very least I can do is take the life He's given me and live it to honor him, to walk worthy of Him...

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called...
Ephesians 4:1

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ...
Philippians 1:27 filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God...
Colossians 1:9-10

as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory...
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

He saved my life. If He saved your life too, then I think neither of us should ever forget where we came from, what we were spared, and though we can never repay what He did for us, we can never live like we have forgotten.

His Grace was free. It was a gift, but it didn't come cheap. I want to walk worthy, and I think you should too.