Wednesday, June 25

An exercise in FALLING!

"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Isaiah 30:15

The true way to salvation and security, not through a specifically formatted prayer or in service to the Lord and Savior. Our security doesn't come from a belief in the end times, whether Christ has come again, will come again, or even if the Kingdom started by His ministry upon this broken, sinful world is beating behind a thinly veiled curtain that we only have to reach across to walk in. There is nothing beyond the simplistic in regards to the salvation gift and security in whatever this world does to the faithful; peace regardless of the stormy waves.

It's all about Trust.

I remember an exercise that the Company Commander of my "ricky-rick" company, Company 901, in boot camp had all of us 'rickies' do. We had to stand with our back to someone in the company that we had no prior experience with, arms crossed and tucked, and fall backwards into their arms....which hopefully were waiting there to catch us. My 'partner' in this exercise was my counterpart in the company leadership (I was the Bosun Mate of the Watch/Starboard Section Watch Leader ---based not on any skillset, but my height) was Recruit Petty Officer White, the Port Watch Section Leader. My nemisis in the Company, some two weeks into training. Talk about a setup, I thought, as I stood there trying to will my body into the surety of pain that would come from collasping on the hard ground. White wouldn't catch me, I knew, because White was my first experience at the hatred that some African Americans hold for their Caucasian fellow citizens. While the experience taught me alot about discrimination and racism that I had not thought of prior, it also taught me how generational hatred and anger can blind us to the opportunities of relational friendships.

My body tensed as I finally pushed it over the edge between knowing I would hit the ground in spectacular fashion and wanting to trust RPO White to catch me regardless of our differences that were truly only skin deep.

This is reflective of my walk in this journey through this life to know, experience, and be in relationship with God. And it is the cornerstone of our movement in faith towards that goal. Salvation comes from trust, trust in a God to deliver His promise that was made upon that Cross so long in Jerusalem by Jewish Pharisees and Roman soliders (in person) and each one of us through the sinful nature of our births. Regardless of what our humanity says is true, to believe beyond ourselves in a God who's ways are not our ways and who's thoughts are not our thoughts. In knowing that our trust in Him might not change the trials we face, and may not manifest itself in spetacular fashion in our daily walk, but that no matter where we find ourselves, there God is also.

"Confidence in God and hope in His provision do not, in this life, always reflect themselves in a breezy joy." Dr. Larry Crabb concludes his chapter 10 in his book Finding God. "Confident, hopeful people are marked by perseverance and a refusal to seek illegitimate relief in the midst of their ongoing struggles."

When we are no longer bound by the need to protect ourselves, draw our confidence and worth from another, and we can truly serve another by the thought, "What do I have to give you?", it is then that our trust is manfiested in our daily living. These are the people that shrug their shoulders and say a prayer of thanks; thanks to God for giving them one more day, another trial to face in strength and mercy that flows from His hands. These are the people that fly planes into the wilderness, ignoring all warnings and evidence, to face what seems certain death to reach a people that are isolated from the rest of the world. They know that this world, in its brokenness and sinful ways, cannot hurt them in the spirit any more.

The pain they face is a temporary, minor thing because of the trust in the comforting peace of their Abba God.

I face alot of things in my future that aren't pleasant or even rewarding. I don't have the confidence in the world's ability to give me a decent hand and take care of the things that need to be taken care of. I know that the road is long, the journey fraught with danger and loss, and yet.......

like that moment when I stepped beyond the barrier between trusting someone who was 'untrustable' and doing what I knew I had to, desptie the guarantee of a painful conclusion, I fell backwards; anticipating the welcoming arms of a rescuer from that painful conclusion.

Recruit Petty Officer White allowed me a brief 'hope' when I felt his arms on my falling back, and then he 'slipped' and I fell crashing to the floor.

But I am confident, despite any assurance the world may give that God will not catch me when I fall backwards, that there is a purpose in the exercise of falling backwards.

My Father may not catch me when I fall.....................

As I fall backwards, though, my confidence that He WILL do so will not fail............

I trust God to do what He wants to do.

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