I wasn’t able to make it to church that Sunday. The day was already starting out on a dreary note, so I picked up my phone, found my playlist, and stepped up on that terrible beast, better known as the elliptical.
Well, it wasn’t exactly like that. I stood there awhile just looking at it. It was a face off of sorts. It staring at me, me staring at it…and the minutes passed. It mocks me you know, that beast of a thing. It annoys me. I hate it. It’s all thug like. It thinks it can beat you. It has its own personality and it is not your friend. NOT. Why we ever purchased that thing is beyond me… oh yes- it was to get in shape, yes…that’s why… I get tired just looking at it…
So, you must do what you have to do: get your phone, turn the music up real loud, put your earbuds in, and climb on that beast. It will not beat me. It will not mock me one more day…
Watermark. That was my playlist. It is early Christy Nockels, she began as Watermark.
I had no idea of waited on me. I had no idea that He would show up. I wasn’t even looking for Him. I had not decided to pray it out while on the elliptical, (which I should have), I had not thought of turning on TBN while pounding away the minutes, I just figured I would escape a dreary day of drudgery while sweating it out on the beast.
I hit play…
“Your blood is my covering, my sheltering, where life comes from…
Your blood is my innocence and my righteousness, where I begin…”
Those words bore deep that day. It penetrated the very depths of my soul- the place where I begin. The place where I’m found, where all of “me” is located…the depths where no one goes, where no one is allowed to go… except…Him.
There was a loosening of a noose that had been wrapped around my faith. I say my faith, because, truly, what else is there in the mind, because that is where my faith had landed three years ago- in my mind- I had thoughts, ideas, and things that lead to insecurity. I had an insecure faith. I shudder at the thought. But it is true. It’s something I thought I was above. I never thought my faith would be shaken. EVER.
But my faith was not wavered in Him. I know that sounds crazy. How can you have an insecure faith, but not be wavering in Jesus??? I was insecure in me. I had always been fine with me…until the day the stumbling happened.
That was a reckless day.
When we think of someone stumbling, we think they have fallen into a sinful pattern, made a poor judgment, or fell to temptation…but this was different.
Luke 7:23, Blessed is he who does not stumble on account of me…
That is a scripture I have pondered a million times…I fervently believed it applied to the times when maybe our prayers were not answered in the manner as we had hoped. You know, “don’t get mad at Jesus just because things didn’t go as planned”. “Jesus knows best, He knows the way you take…don’t get upset at Him when it doesn’t work out as you had wanted”.
Well, what I failed to notice is this; in the greek, to stumble is likened to someone causing you to desert and distrust the One you should. It means to cause someone to judge unfavorably, or unjustly.
People. This is on us.
How often do we do this? How many times do we cause someone to judge unfavorably or unjustly? How many times have we caused someone to distrust and desert the One that can be trusted! Every day. Each and every day.
It is with our lack of love. It is with our prejudices. It is with our gossip. It is with our actions we cause the majority outside the church to not trust Jesus. We fail as a body. We simply fail. How can those that come into our houses of Worship learn to trust Jesus when they cannot trust us?
Jesus said, woe to them…
And then, there is the stumbling from one brother to another; and I am talking about brothers in Christ. That is where my scenario fits in. That is how I ended up not trusting and nearly deserting Jesus –
I was led to believe that He had deserted me. I was led to believe, “by the word of the Lord”, He would bring a sword to me, my home, my marriage, my finances, my ministry, my children…that I would be cut off.
What devastation. What destruction by others. What fallacy by earthly men.
There was a divorce going on in my family. One that was heart wrenching. I was watching my child break in to tiny little fragments. Pieces of my child were left on the floor to be trampled on without care.
We prayed. We fasted. We did it all.
But, there were things that no one knew…things that only Jesus knew, because a heart had been poured out before Him. A heart that desperately wanted love. And that love was withheld.
And the day came when I did not meet the demands of the earthly man. I failed to stop a divorce. And a swift judgment was pronounced over me. And I was devastated. I retreated. I was unworthy. I was unclean. I closed my heart.
I shut the door. I trusted no one. Not even Him.
That great devastation ended while on the beast. That day, was the day Jesus came to me, and I realized all of those words…that judgement; well it was flawed, false, inaccurate. Not one single word came from Jesus. Not one.
And suddenly, I was free…