A call to remember. I can’t recollect the name of the song, the exact lyrics, or even the melody. But I do remember the call, the cry, the imploration to erect a memorial stone, an altar in one’s mind of just how greatly this God of the universe has loved and rescued His beloved; me, His child.
I don’t remember anything except the way that those words shook me, touched me, humbled me. And before even mental comprehension, I understood anew just how greatly I had been saved by this unfathomably good God. As images, memories, glimpses of the past that I had tucked away, sealed from my awareness came flooding in, the tears came pouring out. Tears of joy, of release, sprinkled at times with gleeful laughter, the delight of thanksgiving.
“God, you are so good! You are SO good! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!”
So gracious, so forgiving; to me, so undeserving, so unworthy of the pardon He gave, the mercy He extended, the costly redemption He so willingly bought.
When I walked through those church doors I didn’t know just how much I needed to remember. Needed those reminders of how miraculously I have been saved. Not just from eternal damnation and suffering, or the universal sin nature we all carry post fall. No, none of those things, though important of reflection in their own right, but rather my own corruption. How greatly I have been saved from myself, from my own self-imposed debasement. Of all the ways I waged war on my soul and all the self-assaults I made against my spirit because I believed the wrong voice for so many years. The voice that told me the way to worthiness was in the bed of a suitor or the willingness to go against my better judgment and take another shot, another hit, another grueling set, another risk, another dare, another offer, or anything else that led to the likability among those who paid no heed to consequences; among those who would lead me down the road of my own self-destructive path.
And how ironic that the worthiness I sought in those dark places, which seem a lifetime ago, only led to feelings of more unworthiness, worthless in both my own estimation and the worthlessness I perceived in the arms of anyone else who held me, be it friend, lover, or even God Himself.
But in His great mercy and love, He reached down and stirred my soul once again and awoke me from my slumber, from the trance I was walking in, living more dead than alive. Caught in the grips of the reaper of death himself, the evil one who spoke those lies as truth to my broken, unsanctified spirit. A spirit that had been crushed, and bruised, and beyond all human capabilities to repair.
“I will exalt you Lord, there is no one like you God.
I will exalt you Lord, I will exalt you Lord,
No other name is lifted high.”
Tears streamed down my face again and again as I remembered. I cannot make light of what God has done in my life, cannot sugarcoat the depths of depravity that He has saved me from. I was utterly hopeless, and living in complete denial of how greatly I needed saving. Until that day, about five years past now, when I was roused, and I cannot forget to thank Him over and over again for doing so. For not keeping His love from me when I had kept everything else that was true from my consciousness. He saw me in my filth, in my brokenness, in my despair, and He chose to love me, to reach down and remind me that I mattered in His sight. That I was worth His rescue. That I was worth the blood that He shed. That the mess that I was, and still sometimes am, was worth it. Worth every last drop that was spilled in sacrifice for His bride. Worth the ransom all because He loved me and desired communion with me.
And even now, in this new trial of sickness, a bright and glistening future seemingly snatched, I must thank and praise Him for the deliverance that I am determined to believe is ahead. I won’t allow the enemy to steal my life a second time, though he determinately tries through the turmoil of this disease. I won’t let His sacrifice go unappreciated and unreturned. I resolve to live my life in a way that gives Him the glory due His name. That shouts His goodness from the rooftops and is unafraid and unashamed to speak about what He has done in my life. Even if I have to do so from the confines of my bed.
I may be sick now. My life may be wasting away before my eyes as I battle this disease. This diagnosis that I have been fighting for for the last year and a half of struggle and pain and searching for answers. But wait with me, and watch and see what God will do.
My God is a good God. He is a good Father. And I trust Him to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I can even imagine. Because that is His nature, that’s who He is, and that’s just how wonderfully He has come through for me in the past.
“Thank you for the cross that You have carried,
Thank you for Your blood that was shed,
You took the weight of sin upon Your shoulders,
And sacrificed Your life so I could live.”
You sacrificed your life. You gave Your life, shed Your blood, so I could have life. And I believe in that life, that ‘Zoe’ abundant life, both here and forever after.
Your name is above any other name. Above circumstances. Above finances. Above sickness. Above deceit. Above those in heaven. Above those in the earth and under it. Above even this final diagnosis of Lyme disease that threatens to take the life I so adamantly fight for.
And regardless of how the battle plays out here on earth, I know that ultimately I have won the victory in Him. That I will overcome by the blood of the sinless Lamb and the word of my testimony. May you bear witness to that. May you trust and believe Him to work by the same miraculous power in your own lives. And may you and I never forget what He has done and never cease to be thankful for the future He has promised and traded in exchange for our past. To never cease to recognize the magnitude and weight of the cross and the price that was paid, to win us, to love us, and to give us new life; a life beyond the pains and struggles of this world, a life we must keep our eyes fixed upon, a life that is better and yet to come.