Today I find myself sitting in a small wooden boat in the middle of a vast sea – a sea named "New". The waters are completely still and calm. I threw my oars overboard months ago. The only movement is the clouds that are slowly drifting by overhead. No wind, no gentle breeze, only silence. I lift my sail in anticipation of the Wind for it is my fuel. I rest in the fact that It will come and blow me to my destination. It will be my Guide. I know It will come and I wait for It. I sit. I wait.
I'm standing in the middle of a thick forest of mature trees. Little sunlight makes it down to the forest floor upon which I stand. All that I see looks unfamiliar – I've not been here before. Every tree looks like the other. I see one small path to my right but it is barely recognizable as it is well overgrown with greenery. There are no signs, no markers, no directions. I hold in my hand an intricately carved Walking Stick, but I know not where to go. I grasp It tightly, trusting that It will lead me somehow. I stand. I wait.
I'm standing at the peak of a great mountain top. I'm at such a high elevation that I'm above the clouds. I peer down to look for land below and I see nothing but thick cloud cover, obstructing my view. The only earth that is visible is the ground that is directly beneath my bare feet. All that is discernable is the Sun that shines overhead, warming my skin. It comforts me. I trust that It will someday burn off these clouds and clear my view. I hold my head high, above the clouds, gazing at the brightness of the Sun. Until the clouds are removed, I stand. I wait.
I'm in a desert land. Sand is all about me, as far as my eyes can see. There are no footprints to be found, not even my own. There are no landmarks, just vast dunes of blowing sand. I feel something in my back pocket and reach around to grab it. Unfolded, I see that It is a small Map. How do I know where I am on It? How do I even read It? I've seen Maps such as this before, but on this one the text is written in a language that is foreign to me and the land masses I do not recognize. I calmly fold it back up tightly and place It deep within my pocket. I know that I will need It when it is time to move. I'm at peace, somehow knowing that It will direct me, guide me in time - somehow. In the sea of sand, I wait.
I'm in the depths of the earth. It is dark and the only Light is the faint flicker of a small Lamp that sits in the palm of my right hand. I hold it out and see several tunnels carved out before me. I've never been here before. I don't know where I am or where I'm going, I only know where I've been. I don't feel compelled to venture out. I grasp tightly to my Lamp for It is my Solace. It is my Peace. It will light the way when it is time to move. I stand here amongst the shadows, lamp in hand. I wait.
What I've just described is a few of the many imageries I've seen that describe where I am in this season of my life. What caused me to get riled up before, doesn't seem to shake me. What used to make me fiery mad seems like a non-issue. What I used to have to stand and declare was "this or that" seems like emotion wasted. No, I'm not just being cynical, I'm in a new land. It is a land that, when I sit and think about it, I asked the LORD for, for years. A peaceful place. A place of true rest in Him. A place where what others are doing or not doing doesn't rattle me or undo me. The odd thing is, now that I'm here, I feel lost. I feel like I've been picked up and gently placed in a completely foreign land. Little feels like it used to. Little that I walked daily doing interests me. Who am I? What am I doing and where am I going? It is a scary place, I will admit. Perhaps "scary" is a bad choice of words because it's not that I'm fearful, but I do feel a bit like an inexperienced child who's venturing off into completely unchartered territory. In the imageries that I began this piece with, I wanted to put down in writing the facets of how I feel right now – for me. I feel somewhat alone, but I am not. I feel somewhat lost, but I am not. You see, in my weakness, in my incapacity to run along at my usual break-neck pace, comforted by its "normalcy", I know that my Father promises to show Himself strong. There is some power and supernatural "something" to all of this resting. All of my identities, aside from Him are fading. My Baptist upbringing – gone. My being a good "Christian" – gone. My being identified as a "proud American" – gone as well. My being know as a fiery debater, false teaching exposer and, in some cases, finger pointer all seems to have been placed on the altar. He is seemingly recreating my identity and all that is not in Him alone is falling away. And He is doing it all ever so gently my friend. I am experiencing His compassion. I am experiencing His patience. I am experiencing His lovingkindness. I am experiencing His pain. I am experiencing His rejection. I am experiencing His longing for His beautiful Bride. I am experiencing things that I've never really experienced before, to this level. I must admit it has had little to do with me. That's why, to end all of the imageries, I stated, "I sit or I stand… I wait". What else can I do unless the LORD goes with me? Where am I to go and what am I to do unless He guides me? What if sitting under the shadow of His wings and "doing" nothing is what He desires for me right now? As "wrong" as it "feels", I wait upon Him. I sit and place myself upon His potter's wheel, allowing Him to form me and mold me.
It would seem that my days of exposing all of the wrongs and errors within Christianity have waned. I have come to the conclusion that, as the Bible states, it will all continually increase as we approach the end of all time. I want to be enamored with who Christ is. I want to be infatuated with becoming conformed to His image. I am being driven to uncover what is as opposed to what is not. And that, my friend is a new land for me. Perhaps this is a season, learning new facets of my Father. Be it what it may, I choose to dwell here and rest in Him. He promises me to finish this work that He started in me and each passing moment of my life is an opportunity for His work to continue. It's not easy, at times to sit and wait, especially when you're prone to be an "in your face" kind of guy like I've been. I daily have to choose to not fear these changes. Fears that I won't be zealous anymore. Fears that I've lost my passion or fervor. Fears that I'll lose my desire to write, encourage and warn. These are all legitimate concerns that I constantly have to lay down at His feet. Do I really mean what I say when I tell Him to have all of me? Do I really intend to allow Him to change me when I ask Him to? Do I whole-heartedly desire to be conformed into the beautiful image of Christ? If I do desire that, then I absolutely must rest in the results of my requests, trusting that it is all His ongoing work within me. My preferences, my identities, my comforts I lay on the altar, sacrificed, so that it will no longer be I that live but Christ in me. This is my worship. This is my surrender. This is my existence, all in and through Him alone.
So… I choose to sit. I choose to wait. He is my Author. He is my Finisher. He is truly the LORD seated upon the throne of my life.