This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The kids were bickering this morning. I was so mad. And as my temper rose, my attitude went down. Oh, I was down. The details don’t matter, it was just another tiff. One of hundreds. All I could hear was Annabelle yelling, “Stop! Stop!” So I came out of my bedroom shrieking the same. “STOP IT, STOP IT!” I sounded just like her…
My eight year old.
The drive to the bus stop was dreary and I had a conversation with my teenage son – in my head. I told him a thing or two – in my head. How he should be lifting his little sister up to his level, not sinking down to hers. To a third grade mentality. But by the time I got back through my front door, I knew. God was speaking to me. Words directed at my son – in my head – were pointed right back at me.
“You, Pam, should be lifting your children to your level, not sinking down to theirs. You, Pam, should not regress to the mind of an 8 and 16 year old.” And just now, my husband’s remark from months ago echoes in my ear, “Just who’s the adult here?”
No doubt, God’s the adult. And He calls out, prompting me to rise above all this.
Because experience teaches how the darkness of these mornings can linger. Oh, they can bring me low and I’ve let them. I’ve dwelt there, wallowing in the muck and the mire. Staying low, angry and dark. In years past, I’d stay down for days. Months? Because one morning followed by another and another, filled with the cacophony of everyday life held such power over me. But the truth is, I let it.
Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light. Micah 7:8
Rise up, God says. Set my mind on things above, not below. His word encourages and nudges, and if I let it, it has the power to lift me to His level. To the heavenlies. Yes, if I allow His word to penetrate, and I do, I find I’m able to rise, transcending this earthly realm that’s had the propensity to floor me. And when I find my footing, I start again.
What occurs to me now, though, in this very moment, is how ironic it all is. Perplexing, even. The fact that God tells me to have the mind of Christ. I’m called to rise above earthly trappings, setting my mind on things above, and to not sink down to a worldly level. And yet, He who was above lowered Himself into it. Jesus, who came down into the muck and the mire, did it for me. For all my darkness and missteps.
He became human-like, made in human likeness so I can become Christ-like. Remade in the image of Him.
This idea causes me wonder this morning. How He came down so I can go up…
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
I’ll tell you, I’ve not felt like writing for ages. It seems to be seasonal, this period of muteness. And the book of Luke tells me I’m not the only one. Elizabeth’s husband, Zechariah, was mute for a year. His silence came after he was told of his wife’s pregnancy. See, he doubted the angel’s message. I surmise it was a lack of faith that shut him up.
Me? Perhaps similar. Because I’ve been living down here in the world. And the bad stuff I’m inundated with rubs off. It has the power to permeate my heart and soul. But this morning, there was a glimmer. God’s word speaks of other believers who opened their mouths. 2 Corinthians 4:13 says “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak…
This inspires me today. And if I let myself, I could cry. Because today’s desire to share is a gift from God. He gives a measure of faith. And because I’ve had one too many low mornings, and because my behavior can be contrary to Christ, and because my words don’t always match my actions, I’ve been shut up for a while. Oh, so quiet.
Most especially when my attitude reflects that of an 8 year old. Or a teenager. But I heard Him this morning. He spoke to me through my own words. A message meant for my son was turned toward me. God said to lift my children to my level, not sink down to theirs. I must live higher, though. Heavenly. This morning, I wasn’t. I was a mere child.
But He calls anew. He never lets me stay down. Never. And as I turn toward Him, I hear His tender voice, “Arise, Daughter, You are mine. I didn’t beget you to behave this way. Follow Me, and I will show you a better way to live.”
Thus, once more, I rise and dust off my backside. I thank Him for the hope He gives me. For the flutter that moves my heart. The ember that starts to burn. And I look where He points me. Upward. He calls me to join Him there.