Thursday, April 9, 2015

Update #96 - by Chad Rush

It's been 3 weeks since Kristie met Jesus face to face.
I think a lot more about Heaven now than I used to.  I guess it is much more real to me now.
It's been 3 weeks of beginning the new normal.  The days have gone by fast; the nights not so much.
Week 1 was very busy; many people helping out; many details to attend to.
Week 2 was Easter break.  Emilie and Daniel had off from school.  We enjoyed just being together as a family.  They are both doing well.
Week 3 is underway.  This is the week that I would be alone.  House in in school...alone.

You see, I have thought about and shared with some, that this week, week 3, 2 weeks after Kristie's passing, would be the time that I would wrestle this out with God.

Living life with Kristie; loving her was amazing.
Even over the past year when things got much more difficult and complex, this remained true.
We lived together with such an expectancy for God; for who He was; for what He was doing; to hear Him speak.  Yes, we lived with great anticipation, for God was on the move.
On March 21st, we celebrated her spiritual birthday into eternity.
And we did this well!
God remained good, but so many questions were unresolved.
So yes, this was the week that I would have time to be alone with Him.  Alone to pray.  Alone to cry.  Alone with my questions.  ...alone.

But week 3 arrived differently than I had thought.
A little more than a week ago, a strange thing happened.  I began to realize what I had been saying - who was I to wrestle with God?
I mean, don't get me wrong, my world was rocked and I really wanted to better understand what just happened.
Forgive me God for me wanting to wrestle this out with You.  I know it is me and not You who doesn't understand.
My greatest desire remains You, God.  Lead me to a higher relationship with You.
It was then that I came to realize that it was not me wrestling with God, but that it was He who was initiating with me!  It was He who was asking me this question:
"Were you seeking Me for what I would do for you?  Or were you seeking Me for Me?"
My answer was "both".
I am beginning to understand that if I only see God for what He has done, or can do for me, then He is not big enough.  Then He is not the God of the Bible.

In my quiet time with God yesterday, I read Genesis 32:22-30.

"That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.  After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.  So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."  But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."  The man asked him, "What is your name?"  "Jacob," he answered.  Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."  Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."  But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?"  Then he blessed him there.  So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."


It was God who wrestled with Jacob.  He was the initiator.  At first glance it may look lie Jacob was trying to force a blessing from God, but read it again.  God fought with Jacob all night, and when daylight came, Jacob looked up and God said, "All right, I have tried.  I am leaving."  "If you don't want my best for you, I'll leave."

I think Jacob must have panicked.  Perhaps for the first time, he saw the value of God and God alone.  He became desperate to stay in His presence and he sought His blessing.
To see the value of God, and of God alone.
This is a tough battle!
How many of us face hard, hard situations.  The death of one we love.  The failure of a relationship.  Hard questions that don't seem to have answers that satisfy us the way we want them, or need them to.

...and the battle line is drawn.  Right down the center of our hearts and our will.

Here is the question:

Am I willing, like Jacob, to be broken by Him?  To live broken for Him?
A broken vessel, being held together by the grip of His hands; filled with His presence; standing in His strength.
We must allow Him to break us so he can make us into conquerors, overcomes, mighty warriors for Him.
That is what I want.
That is what real faith is.
You see, faith is not an intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can't see the way ahead.

I am all in.
Today, tomorrow, for as long as He has for me, until that day when i see Him and Kristie, face to face.

So how am I doing?
He is pulling me forward into a deeper relationship with Him.
Forward to grasp a much larger, grander vision of Him, of Heaven and of His future.
Forward to a deeper faith, a higher hope and a new kind of love.
Forward to a new Jacob, limping perhaps...but to a higher ground.

How about you?