from an article originally posted June 26, 2014...
God and his goodness does not depend on my acknowledgement of that goodness. His refuge does not exist because I state its existence. No, his goodness and refuge are true because He says they are true. But guess what: I have deeply experienced both his goodness and refuge in a way that I simply cannot keep quiet about them.
In the face of the impossibility of the steps we will be walking, we have tasted the goodness of God. We have run and hidden in the grace of his refuge that nothing else can meet. Trust me—we have tried to run to many things for comfort that have left us empty and without peace. We are watching many react to our story in such painful ways that show us they do not know the refuge of God. We hurt watching them, and desperately long for them to know Jesus and his gentle nearness as we walk through hard. But all we can do in each hard new step is to taste the goodness of God, know his real refuge, and proclaim that story. It doesn’t make sense to someone that doesn’t know the peace we walk in each moment.
But as I waver and take on fear and unbelief, God does not waiver from his place of grace and rest. So as my heart fails and struggles, I need my community to remind me. To hold the truth that is before me even when I cannot see it. It’s a high calling for my community. I know there is a temptation for them to say I have every right to live in despair. No; I need a community that points me to the high calling of running to my refuge and not wallow in myself and fear.
Oh, dear community that loves so big, my hard story does not give me a pass. I don’t get a pass to be unkind in my pain. I do not get a pass to stop looking upon the goodness of God. I do not get a pass to stop living while I still have today. No, I get to live in the freedom Jesus died in faithfully so I can truly be free (Galatians 5:1) I get to reflect his grace. And on the days I only look upon myself, I get to repent, I get to seek forgiveness. I get to walk humbly with MY God who is not surprised by my story, my pain, or my struggle with belief.
No—Jesus is a gentleman who greets me at every ugly edge of life. Like that humbly bowed gentleman waiting to take the hand of a lovely dance partner, he wants to sweep me across the floor and waltz with a sure and beautiful footing. Together we dance across the brittle and broken floor of this place, and his grip is firm and the dance is beautiful. People gather to watch, it hurts to watch, but they simply cannot look away. His love reflected in my face is something to behold. That love utterly transforms me. It is a dance not born from this place. And how I love to dance! He knows I trust him in the dance, even when I’m too tired to continue! He knows He can rally me to keep dancing. There are some steps I don’t know, places he longs to take me I haven’t learned. Those are the places in the dance he lets me put my little girl feet upon his. He teaches me and sometimes he simply lifts me and lets me rest my head upon His shoulder and be carried away by the dance. I will trust his goodness in the dance, all of it. And one day we will be together and the floor won’t be broken; no, it will be paved in gold. All the tears, all the pain, all the struggling for the right footing will be over.