HOLY GROUND - Week of April 30th
By Judy NicholsMay 1, 2017
I believe it was C. S. Lewis who said that God whispers to us in our pleasures but shouts to us in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse us. Any time life takes an unexpected turn, whether painful or not, we should recognize that God is trying to get our attention. He is wanting to do something new in our life and faith.
When Moses saw a bush on fire but not being consumed in the wilderness, he turned aside to look at it and see, if he could, why it was not being burned up. When God saw that Moses turned to look, He spoke to him. "Here I am," Moses replied. God told him to take off his sandals because the ground he was standing on was holy.
I believe there are some things we can learn from this story. First, when things take a sudden turn, whether it be a life-changing diagnosis, loss of a relationship, a bad accident, or being slapped with a lawsuit, for example, our first impulse is to go into crisis mode. Our emotions go on steroids; our fears get overblown. We want to DO something, anything, to dull the pain and/or fix the problem. What we seldom do is turn, look at our situation, recognize that God is in it, and say, "Here I am, Lord."
God is under no obligation (save for His great love and mercy towards fallen humankind) to continue to reveal Himself if we do not acknowledge Him in the situation. Our own efforts may yield some results in the present, but solving our own problems will never grow our faith or yield the kind of fruitfulness and holiness God desires.
The second lesson is to learn that our trial, no matter how scary, heart-breaking, or anger-producing it is, is holy ground. God is there. He led the Israelites in the wilderness; He led His own Son into the wilderness. There is no reason to think He will not lead us there, as well. But He is present with us, always.
As I look back at my cancer experience of 22 years ago (thank you, Jesus!), I realize that it was holy ground. God did so much for me, in me, and through me that I would never have imagined. I saw His faithfulness and care for me in so many ways. I learned lessons that have forever changed my life. Like me, you may not recognize your trial as holy ground until it’s over, but it is none the less.
What are you facing right now? Whatever it is, it is holy ground. God is there. He is working to grow your faith, to sanctify you and make you holy, to conform you to the image of Christ. He is also there to magnify His own name and His glory because His action in your life produces that.
Step onto your holy ground. It may be with fear and trembling – Moses turned his face to the ground because he was afraid to look at God. He made excuses for why he was not the right choice for the job but, in the end, God had His way. God will have His way with each of us. The question is, will He have it in spite of us or with our willing cooperation?
© Judy Nichols 2017