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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Search for a Story

Have you ever had a moment...a second of clarity...when the light goes on and a Bible verse you've known your whole life takes on new meaning?

I don't mean you just looked up the definition to a word...I'm talking about the Holy Spirit revealing hidden truth to you in a way that changes your whole make-up...your whole perspective...your whole life from here forward.

Author Jennifer Kennedy Dean says in her book Riches Stored in Secret Places that truth in Scripture is hidden for the sole purpose of being revealed. "Truth will be found only in God's Word...the wonderful, rich, consecrating truth is buried. It must be mined, like gold or silver...God has deliberately hidden deep truth so that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, can disclose it.
'For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open'"(Mark 4:22)

Have you asked God for that kind of revelation...wisdom...knowledge...understanding? He is longing to give it to you. "If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and
understanding."(Proverbs 2:3-6)

I received a similar challenge to dig deeper into God's word not too long ago...

The room was silent as she spoke...sharing her experience. She had come from a religion that used the Bible, but its own edited version of the Bible, not the inerrant version we know as Truth. She came to a saving knowledge and personal relationship with God simply by reading The Bible, which makes sense as it is "living and active."
(Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

"For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are."
(Hebrews 4:12 New Living Translation)

Truth pierced her heart. The more she read God's Word, the more she saw herself.

As she continued to share "her story," She launched into a reading of the
"The Woman with the Issue of the Blood." (Mark 5:24-34; Matthew 9:20-22)

The emotion was real...raw...moving...touching...healing...there was not a dry eye in the room when she finished. You could have heard a pin drop. Many were quietly weeping.

It was there...the touch of Heaven...the place where this thing called Christianity becomes real...everyone wanted it...to simply know our own "story"...where we fit in...He touched us.

As the moment quickly passed...dinner was served...ladies began to visit...I realized I wanted it...He touched me.

That's when I knew...that's how I wanted to see the people in the Bible...I wanted identity in God's people...my people(...He predestined us to be called his sons through Christ Jesus.) ("because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.")... I wanted identity in Christ on a deeper level. (Ephesians 1:5 and Romans 8:14)

I wanted to see me...my life...relevant to the ancient writings of people who lived righteously in a different time...a different world...I wanted an ageless God("Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." Hebrews 13:8) to transcend the ages and mightily move in my life.

I wanted to feel Life when I read the Bible...receive wisdom to understand.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

The challenge was presented...she asked, "Find your story in God's Word. Who do you identify with?"

As I began the quest I read and reread stories of different characters Hannah...David... Elizabeth...Mary...Ruth...Esther...Jacob...Sarah...and many more. I've always felt some identity with each of these Bible characters. People who rejoiced when God fulfilled the desires of their hearts...people who girded themselves up for the battle God had called them to fight...people who gave all they had to the Lord and He gave back...people who were chosen and blessed beyond what the could have imagined...people who pressed into the Lord when the suffering was unimaginable and then danced with joy once more. Through it all...grief...pain... heartache... triumph...they sought the Lord and He answered.

Somewhere along the journey I realized very suddenly, "He showed me all I ever did."
(John 4:29)

As Jennifer Kennedy Dean says, "...at an unexpected moment, God will shine a search light on a truth from a scripture you thought you had already mined."

It was a truth embedded in my heart with a hidden meaning which I needed Wisdom...the Spirit of Truth...to reveal to me. Suddenly, out of nowhere I got it..."He showed me all I ever did!"

I've heard the story of the woman at the well (John 4:7-29) since I was a little girl. That phrase, verse 29, "He showed me all I ever did" always stuck out to me.

I know all of my sins...I realize I am very far from perfect...I totally get that I turn to all sorts of other people and things before I turn to Jesus...I get it...Why, Why, Why would she REJOICE and TELL OTHERS that Jesus repeated to her all that she...especially she...who had had five husbands and a new live-in boyfriend in her never-ending quest for happiness and acceptance...ever did...why? That was always the question I asked when reading this story.

Then in an instant the meaning was revealed...my life was changed...I understood...He didn't repeat all she'd ever done...He revealed it. He uncovered her heart's motives...hidden meanings...wrong-thinking patterns...rote habits that were sinful...haven't you ever discovered you were doing something simply because it was familiar not necessarily knowing if there was a different...perhaps better...way?

What He revealed to me was simply a way that I had perceived my life incorrectly...misjudged my role...always...my life was laden with responsibility...trying to help my loved ones in an unhealthy way...taking responsibility for things that I could not correct...things I simply needed to accept...things that should have had no bearing on my decisions...they should have just been.

Trying to change a circumstance...to make right what I had not wronged...to fix what someone else had broken...becoming more and more frustrated with myself and all those around me...I realized...this is all I ever did. I saw my sin and it was incredibly sweet...effortless...healing...I was free to hate my sin and feel incredibly loved with an everlasting love. ("I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3)

I had never felt so loved...so free...so different! "In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change." (Romans2:4)

Really, what God revealed to me that day in His goodness and mercy is something too deep for words that totally transformed me and freed me to live a more carefree life as the me I was created to be...giving praise to the Father.

Discovering that I never had to do things the same way again...wow, what freedom..."the truth shall set you free."(John 8:32) This is why the woman at the well went and shared...quickly and immediately. She had been forever changed in an instant...those that knew her would be astounded at the woman she had become...absolutely miraculous...she might struggle from time to time...but from today forward, she would be visibly, noticeably different!

The woman that was so ashamed she had to draw water at midday...alone...so she wouldn't have to talk to anyone...was now running through town telling all,
"Come, meet the man who told me all I ever did!" (John 4:29)





I invite you to come, meet the One who showed me all I ever did...

"but whoever drinks this water will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
(John 4:14)

I am the woman at the well
Past secrets too dark to ever tell
I draw water at midday
Hoping no one comes my way
Sin and shame a heavy weight
Loneliness and frustration, twins I hate
Lost in thought, eyes cast down
Who's this Stranger come to town?
He speaks of living without thirst
Could He heal the pain and hurt?
He asks my name; I reply smart
How could He know my very heart?
He speaks of how life has been
I see all my hidden sin
Motives, reasoning, thoughts...all lies
Truth lay bare before my eyes
Here I find Life that's true
As I begin to walk anew
Then I run...telling all to "Come,
Meet the One who showed all I've done!"
No one ever has to thirst
Just seek Living Water first
"Many...believed in Him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I ever did.'" (John 4:39)

1 comment:

Kathryn Berilla said...

Absolutely beautiful my friend...

We should all walk in His freedom.

I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.

I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.

I will speak of your statutes before kings
and will not be put to shame
Psalms 119:44-46