“There is a shift in the landscape of Heaven happening right now.”
My pastor said these words today as people stood to confess their belief in and commitment to the life Jesus. The power in that moment caused an inevitable lump in my throat, and I am sobbing by the end of it. People are coming home. Whether it is known in that moment, they are choosing the hardest, yet most rewarding road that could ever be taken.
I look at those standing, praying for what is ahead, but also wondering if they now know hope. I wonder who has searched to every end, only to see it was Him all along calling their name. I question how long they had run. God knows how long I ran and I kept saying, “Not yet. Just not yet. I can’t. I’m not ready to give this up yet.”
Who shared in that this morning?
Even now, I feel that familiar lump in my throat. I wish I could full explain how badly I needed to see it all happen again – the silent prayers from the followers in the auditorium and the sweaty palms, but sure hearts of those stepping onto the road, taking rise. In those moments, I can feel His heart taking over, making us all a little braver than when began. The re-birth of life. The new reality put before us, screaming, “All is new!”
Only God knows how badly I needed that reality some years ago, too.
It has only been seven years since I listened to the tugs and said “Yes” to all of who He is. What followed was a charged “Yes” and a truckload of “No’s” to an old life. Each “No” felt like pushing against hurricane winds. But grace carried me through and through, through and through.
In the end, my heart and mind became sure of what was offered: an exchange for the rags I carried.
These are my thoughts for those moving forward and for my relationship with Him now. All of the “Yeses” and all of the “No’s” … but all of the transformation that occurs in between. It all starts with the shaky, nervous steps forward into a life that assumes all risks.
But the Life that meets us as we step onto that Heavenly landscape – could anything be better?
“Did Jesus live? And did he really say
The burning words that banish mortal fear?
And are they true? Just this is central, here
The Church must stand or fall. It’s Christ we weigh.
All else is off the point: the Flood, the Day
Of Eden, or the Virgin Birth–Have done!
The Question is, did God send us the Son
Incarnate crying Love! Love is the Way!
Between the probable and proved there yawns
A gap. Afraid to jump, we stand absurd,
Then see behind us sink the ground and, worse,
Our very standpoint crumbling. Desperate dawns
Our only hope: to leap into the Word
That opens up the shattered universe.”
– Sheldon Vanauken, a skeptic, and later, a Follower: