So, you either nod your head in affirmation of God’s protection, or curse under your breath because of the wounds that His hand brings.
When I look at the lives of so many of God’s chosen ones from the past, the hand of God often looks more like a fist dealing out blows in a fight than a gentle pat on the back side. Maybe how He reveals Himself has more to do with where we are, and where we are going.
Perplexing stuff. Life.
Jacob was blessed while wrestling with the Theophany, and limped for the remainder of his days. It was such a painful wound that his descendants refuse to even touch the famous ligament out of reverence for their ancestor and his struggle with the Ancient of Days.
A good friend of mine, my best friend, has experienced this as much as anyone I know. He refers to this as the “Thwarting of God”. His story is one of being hemmed in behind and before. This has formed his life and ministry, as a vine vigorously pruned, so that he can produce kingdom fruit.
Yes, God takes the very best that we have to give, and can turn it aside in frustration, derail it, and add it all up to zero. But for a reason. For our good, the good of all.
My friend sent me the film clip from Jerry Maguire, where he equated breakdown with breakthrough. I know that we can only see God clearly after we have been broken and brought to the end of ourselves. I remember finding life here so very long ago, finding Christ, in a place that surprised me.
This has again been my gradual realization over the last several years. Skills and abilities that I’ve relied upon for more than 20 years have stopped working so well. What was easy and enjoyable, and brought a very good living to me and my family has become a burden and tedious.
In this time my marriage ended, and no matter the circumstances surrounding it, it’s not a thing to crow about.
So many other relationships have been lost, damaged, or just changed in this time period. Good, new ones have come into my life, and as they grow and mature they will replace those that have been lost.
I find myself spending far too much time alone. Well, I do have the old eunuch by my side, my tomcat Blizzard, sweet thing.
Oh, I’ve developed a condition in my heart from uncontrolled blood pressure over the last two years, which may now be largely under control. But I have felt more hemmed in lately, behind and before. And during the day, my blood pressure can rise too high, too fast, even with medication. So my body is telling me to make substantive changes sooner than later.
Let’s see, I bought an old house back in April, a fixer-upper, and have a lot of work ahead of me. It’s good therapy, working with your hands, sawing and nailing, painting, envisioning what a space could become.
And just as suddenly, my job has become more tenuous. My children, my ex-wife, and anyone else I know and love may either fall victim, or have a front row seat to an undoing.
But if this all goes south, if I lose everything and am left homeless, there is One who will not leave me. One who has seen the end from the beginning, and who has this in His hands.
This may just be one of those rare opportunities in life, where God hits the reset button, and reboots your life in a direction that you might not have known, seen or chosen.
So, after 3-4 very anxious days, I’m realizing that God’s hemming me in may also be a hedge of protection. I can’t get out, escape, but then other things are not able to get in. Until it is the right time.
So I am hemmed up on The Masters Wheel, in the training circle.
- Surprised and “Hemmed In” by Psalm 139 (aprilyamasaki.com)