I’ve been feeling quiet, not just on this blog, but in life. Maybe it’s because of the chaos a sixteen month old adds to this family of five. Or even as I write, the chaos that a five year old brings when he clothes himself in layers of fifteen shirts and begins to roll on the grass. Being garbed in what looks like football gear, he then needs help lifting each shirt over his head, one at a time. But really, a big contributor is my own heart and attitude toward God. Maybe I haven’t been letting Him do miracles in me?
I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, and she essentially says that thanksgiving always precedes the miracle of joy. And as I sit listening to this song by All Sons and Daughters, I think about how God has called me to go higher in my relationship with Him. The paradox is that we only go higher by going lower. We do this by leaving what feels like a safe place in Him and going where our faith is challenged or where we feel uncomfortable. Maybe we step into something we fear or that’s just plain hard. Whatever the case, going higher is always where we make nothing of ourselves and seek to make something of Him.
I think one of the reasons thanksgiving always precedes the miracle is because it’s humbling to give thanks for something we don’t want or for something we feel we lack. Giving thanks in these circumstances means we have to step down from the throne of our hearts where we control our own destiny.
But it’s then that we see and experience the miracle of change—His power at work in us through our yielding.
And you know what? I want to go higher with God. It isn’t because I want to make something of myself. It’s because I’ve experienced that deep, rich satisfaction in Him. I’ve seen the miracle and I want more.
And this calling to go higher and deeper isn’t exclusive to me. This calling is to you, also—no matter the circumstances or sin in our lives. He requires nothing of us. He’s provided Himself a sacrifice for our sins and “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
I’m learning to lean into this—when I feel like I blow it again and again, when I refuse to accept this perfect love of God for me and reject His good and perfect gifts, He always takes me back. He remains true to Himself and His promises.
When I surrender my desires, He gives me His joy. He fulfills my longing with Himself. And there’s no way to explain this except by miracle.