This post is linked up to Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory:
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring.
Glory in the highest I will shout and sing
Im standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail.
By the living word of God I shall prevail.
Im standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior.
Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God.
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Im leaning, leaning
Safe and secure from all alarms.
Im leaning, Im leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms
Are you washed in the blood in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless, are the white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the lamb?
Yes, Im standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior.
Im standing, standing, standing on the promises of God.
Yes, Im standing, standing
Im standing on the promises of God!
This morning, I woke to the words of this hymn. I woke remembering the words God poured into me exactly a year ago, as I sat screaming at Him in the throes of PTSD flashbacks of my mother’s last hours, to show me life was truly worth living. It was His promises that held me tethered to life and hope, when everything within me screamed otherwise.
As I sat in my living room in the middle of the night, consumed by fear, grief and anger at God for allowing my mother to suffer so very much, believing that His ultimate goal in life was to break and hurt us, I screamed at Him to show me otherwise. Praying He’d show me in His Word, I opened my Bible and it fell on this:
John 6 : 35-40 (The Message)
Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.
“This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life,eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”
And I still to this day look back in wonder at His unbelievable response. The Spirit of God responds to my deepest fears, grief and insecurities in His overwhelming promises:
- He tells me that Jesus is holding onto me and will NOT let me go.
- He tells me that Jesus is working in me to make me “upright” and thus worthy to stand before my Heavenly Father at the end of time, that His work of righteousness will be completed in me to cover the shame of ALL my sin because of His Great and Perfect Sacrifice in Love.
- He tells me, that Jesus is also working to make me “whole”, to bring restoration and healing where now pain, heartache and fear reside.
- He tells me that my mother’s body and mind are no longer unbearably broken, that she is now standing before the throne of God, the Father, “whole” and “complete”.
- He tells me that ALL I have to do is “trust” Him, “lean on, feel safe or secure, to be confident in” Him.
- He tells me that by abiding in Him, I will no longer hunger or thirst.
And these are promises that He holds out to us all, promises that have the power to tether us to His Love, His Hope and His Life no matter what the circumstance.
So, this morning, 35 years to the day that my mother gave birth to me, I stand here in awe of my God and Saviour, in awe of how He chose to never let me go, no matter how hard I tried to run away. And this year, as I’ve leant into these promises like never before, I’ve seen and felt Him peel more and more layers from me, layers that stood between me and the Love He was so graciously looking and longing to shower upon me.
A day after my ten days of fasting in January, I stood beholding the starry sky, and my heart wept from the love and joy I felt overwhelm me. I stood there hearing the promises God spoke over Abraham and I heard Him telling me that exactly these promises are now being fulfilled. He’s calling His children, Abraham’s children, like the stars: too many to count and so stunningly beautiful from the Light they carry and exude. He’s calling them Home.
And on Saturday, I felt it impressed upon my heart that He has placed me before a new path, a new path that calls me to walk in boldness, to speak of His great Love unashamedly, even to those I do not know. Ephesians 5: 10 tells us:
You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.
And on Sunday, He showed me the power of doing what pleases Him. Forced to leave church early, as my children refused to go to Sunday school or sit still through the sermon, the very first person I met upon leaving the gates of the church was a man I had felt called to stop on the street a week and a half before. He had been limping in pain and I felt called to ask to pray for him: something I never do! He thought it was kind of me to offer, but told me it was unnecessary. So, instead I called upon Jesus to heal him, as I biked away, after chit chatting with him. And here he was, a mere week and a haf later, striding freely. He told me that he’d run 10km the day before. He put the change down to a cream he’d picked up at the chemist. But I put it down to the powerful, pursuant Love of Christ and after a nervous, embarrassed hesitation, I went to find him again to tell him so. I wanted him to know just how much God loves him and I wanted to follow the desires of my heart, the desires God has placed within me and I know so many others of you in this world. And so, I pray that you too would be encouraged to step out in faith to follow what you feel called to do by God.
For me, this is the publication of a book of 50 chapters sharing of how I have been both embraced by God’s Love and have been taught how to embrace it myself. It is a story of a journey in and through suffering into awestruck wonder and inexplicable Love. Will you join me in praying for this step? For doors to open, for a boldness to continue to step out in faith, for God to infuse the words on the page with His power to multiply the blessing and for the words to meet those who need it the most?
If you’d like to support this step personally, let me know by leaving a comment. I’m looking for a launch team to help me prepare for the book’s release, hopefully on Mother’s Day this year, in honor of the gift God bestowed on me through the life of my precious Mum, who passed away on April 8th, 2014. And I’m also looking for feedback and keen eyes of critique.