Earthbound but Held

Eye to the sky

I spend quite a bit of time writing about life in the trenches – my struggles, my dealings, my not-so-pretty falls. That’s not all I write, but it’s a big portion of it. And it is in the not-so-pretty trenches that I usually meet God. I write about where and how I meet Him because that’s the only sacred ground I have, the only eternal part of my life. My post on Friday, however, was a little different.

I asked the Lord to give me words for who He’s become to me. He’s always been and will ever be GOD, undiminished and unchanged, but I have not always known Him as I do now. I wanted to give voice to the reason that muddy trenches are sacred to me. And I believe that the Holy Spirit did give me a fuller and higher description of who God is to me, as well as the way He wants us all to know Him. I still can’t do Him justice, of course, but it’s closer than I’d managed up until then. But there’s an even better illustration of just how unstoppable and unfathomable God is, and in order to show it, I have to tell you about the day that I wrote “Sovereign Flight.”

I mentioned that John Magee, Jr. had just experienced the pure exhilaration of flying 33,000 feet when he wrote “High Flight.” And I must say that I find it kind of funny that my experience was the exact opposite when I wrote my post about that very poem. I was as earthbound as a person can be while trying to find words for the glory of God.

It was a truly wretched afternoon. I don’t know what happened, but I went into a funk that I couldn’t get out of, though I tried and tried. My emotions were all over the place – anger, frustration, depression, annoyance, grief and irritation, to name a few. It seemed like every five minutes I was apologizing to God and asking Him to forgive me. I just could NOT seem to stay in the Spirit. At least, that’s how it felt.

I won’t go into details because that won’t edify anyone, but it is no exaggeration to say that I was a big, hot-tempered mess. Just horrible! I couldn’t do anything about it except to keep going back to the Lord to say, “I’m so sorry!” I couldn’t keep myself in any way at all. Sleep deprived toddlers have more self-discipline than I did, and yet the Spirit was undeterred. He moved anyway.

I don’t really know what was going on with me, and in truth, I don’t really care. I am too overwhelmed by who He was in spite of me. What I felt and how I failed didn’t stop Him, didn’t even slow Him down! Am I completely accountable for being a total wretch? Absolutely! But He was transcendent over even that.

Somehow, some way, God has me – keeps me – and is victorious, even when there isn’t a single reason why that should be so. I should never have been able to write about Him the way that I did, in the state that I was in. Never! And yet He gave me the words. He wrote about the beauty of sovereignty through a vessel that couldn’t get out of the dirt. That’s the power of “the life which I now live.” And that’s the mercy and love the Father pours over and into His children. I am held fast, even when I flail and fail and feel miles away from Him. And that says very little about me, and an awful lot about God.

But by the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not [found to be] for nothing (fruitless and without effect).
1 Corinthians 15:10a AMP

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    • Annalie du Toit


      • Gaby

        Amen: Hallelujah!

    • Leah

      Thank you for being so transparent! Love you Jen!

    • Sam

      Hahaha… my blessed Jen. You always so open-hearted and living in that raw honesty that you can cut with a knife.

      It was a surprise for me to meet such a confession for that particular post.


    • Alex

      “What I felt and how I failed didn’t stop Him” hits home. I’m always amazed when He shows me this truth, and always amazed that I quickly forget it! Thanks for the glimpse of your day, and the beauty of your walk! It’s a reminder of Who He Is.

    • Tina

      Wonderful! Graham Cooke stated it this way (not exact quote): God never changes. We do, but He remains the same. We can always trust the nature of God. What a relief~! What a gift! Learning the art of receiving based on who God is, not on who I am is freedom!

    • Sandy

      To me you defined the meaning of the word vessel – which is what you are for God. Were you not the vessel you are, we would follow you and not Jesus IN you and His transcendence would loose all its beauty and meaning to us!

      May God continuously be the stronghold of your life dear Jennifer! Until the very end.

    • Pauline

      “There Is Only God.” (Martha Kilpatrick)
      Love you, Jen!

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