Wednesday, March 7, 2007


There is so much I want to write, but I haven't time at the moment. Perhaps this evening; I don't know. There are things that have been crying out in my heart for a week now, and the opportunity simply has not been there for me to be able to share it. That may be a good thing. In having had to wait, to sit, to think on these things in the quiet, they may come out better than they would have if I had rushed them.

I was looking back through the past few weeks' of posts, and they all sound rather down. That makes me a trifle sad. I don't want my testimony, even in various difficulties, to be one of depression or anguish. To the contrary! The relatively small struggles that I have had these last weeks simply do not compare to the surpassing glory of the reward that is set before us (Romans 8:18). Yes, things are difficult right now. I have been working through just the initial stages of some things since Monday night, and today is only going to step up the intensity of the ways God is dealing with me. Yet that is a good thing! Easy? No. Wonderful? Most definitely.

When our hearts' desire is God, how could we be anything but encouraged that He chooses to discipline us? If He disciplines us, it is because He loves us - and that ought to be a very great joy to our hearts. It is not that our emotions do not surge; nor indeed that our hearts do not break. If our hearts do not break as He begins to reveal the magnitude of our sin, then we are in a bad place indeed. If our emotions did not flare up in response to correction and to the kinds of conviction that God is bringing to me right now, then we would not be human. (That sort of stoicism leads nowhere useful: I have walked that path and seen its fruit, and its fruit is death, Just as being ruled by one's emotions is death.) So while I am greatly sorrowed that I have not yet come to the place to which God has called me, I am encouraged just as greatly that I have a God so faithful as to answer the very prayers that I and others have been praying.

Starting nearly a month ago, I began to ask for increased and renewed conviction. I saw hints of things in my heart that I didn't care for, but I wasn't sensing the depth of those sins; I wasn't seeing to the root of the problems. I still don't, in many ways. Yet God is faithful. He is answering those prayers, and while perhaps not in the way I expected, He is answering them mightily and powerfully. It is a struggle, of course, in that my flesh is rebelling against His conviction and His powerful work here, looking for every out, for every excuse, for every reason why this is unfair or unnecessary or unjust. But God is faithful. And I believe Him, not my flesh.

I am terrified.

I am excited.

And above all, I know that my Father loves me and that my Redeemer lives and that my Comforter is walking beside me.

This process of growing, healing, being renewed and transformed... the image that has struck me as I have been praying through this and as I have been writing is that of a man whose limbs are terribly deformed: a cripple in every sense of the word, whose body is so malformed he cannot function, and whose mind is so used to that crippling that he considers it normal. When a physician comes with the cure, there is one catch. It will be painful. More painful, in the short term, than simply remaining as a cripple - but how much richer the life when the man is no longer crippled: when he can walk or even run, when he can throw a football with a friend, when he can dance with a beautiful girl in his arms... when he is made right? So the physician begins his work of straightening tortuously twisted limbs, of making right that which has been wrong for so very long. The man's arms and legs begin to heal - but he cannot use them. He has never learned how. And so, falteringly and stumblingly, he begins to try. His failures are many, and at times discouraging. But his physician - his friend - helps him: to stand, to eat, to do all these things for himself that he has never done before. Motor memory begins to develop. Muscles begin to harden and firm. Months pass, and the man can walk, can take care of himself. As more time goes on, he continues to grow in his new abilities - from learning to tango to being able to play piano a little. But he only continues to grow so long as he continues to suffer the pain of that growth, to endure the struggle of it, and to hold on to the promise that the doctor has given him: that the reward of having overcome will be worth the grievous pain required to get there. The day that first he feels free, he looks back at his old life, at that old pale shadow of existence that hardly seemed a life at all, and marvels at how he has been set free from seemingly immutable chains that held him in thrall.

I'm looking forward to that. To being so completely healed from these sins that so easily entangle, that cripple us and keep us from running with endurance (Hebrews 12:1-2) - that will be a delight beyond measure. And our Physician is truly mighty: because He does heal men and women with broken bodies; but He is far greater, for He is the Healer that mends men and women with broken hearts and minds and spirits.

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. May our Father's grace and peace be with you.

- Chris


  1. what joy you bring to your Father! and what joy you bring to your mother and father. and what joy you will bring to that beautiful woman you will hold in your arms through the dance of life someday!

    (btw - i don't know anyone who wishes to be 15 again! ;)

  2. Chris-what a very apt analogy the Lord showed you as to what He is doing. In the midst of the pain and the breaking and the healing, rest in Him. You are His beloved and He will work all things together for His glory!

    Praying for you! Love you, Mom

  3. Chris, as I've been reading the last couple of weeks, I've seen some of the same questions/fears that I've gone through in the last couple of years, but I'd like to assure you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your physical and mental exhaustion has made you vulnerable to spiritual attack, but I know you're strong enough to make it through. As always, I'll be praying for you.

  4. Much of life can be about perseverance. Persevering with God and not persevering on our own ways. Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25
    Our natural tendency is to continue to do things our own way because we "know" it will work. The problem is that while it may appear to work, it really doesn't work because it gets out of line with the Lord's plan. Remember the analogy about another trip around the mountain? After all my trips around the mountain, I should weigh far less. ;)

  5. Rats! My brain doesn't always work as well as it should...

    I'm praying for you to "get it" without multiple trips around the mountain.

  6. The analogy you use is extremely accurate.
    I also like the new picture you posted.


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