Friday, February 03, 2012

Faith. Hope. Love: Chapter Eight

Have you ever experienced anything like a hurricane, tornado, tsunami, volcano, etc? Once (while in the U.S.), I woke to an earthquake in the wee hours of the morning. I was on the second floor of my rental house and I stared at the moving blinds on the window as my mind tried to wrap itself around what was happening. The building, foundation, and earth below me rolled as though I was perched on the deck of a boat at sea. I was unable to stop it, powerless to save myself, incapable of escape. I was along for the ride whether I wanted to be or not! I was at God’s mercy!

Having my eyes opened by God was a similar ordeal. The birth pains, if you will, were small and far apart at first…difficult to even identify. But as time went on (many years infact), they became more intense and closer together…until grace. He was calling me and I knew the Good Shepherd’s voice. I was going toward Him by instinct without thought or hesitation. Could I put on the breaks? I cannot prevent death. Could I hinder God or thwart His doing? And, why would I? I was in His tractor beam and being pulled to the mother ship.

The book God used (in addition to the bible) as a tool toward the end of this process was Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grisson. It is one I highly recommend. Of course, at that time I also had a wonderful guide to help me navigate through the book and the deep, tumultuous waters of my conflicting feelings as my flesh burned and I transitioned from being a slave to my sin to one of righteousness (Romans 6). But while in Singapore, I was closer to the beginning of this progression. I was still focused on worldly things and naïve in my young age.

Ethics and integrity were always important to me…but so was going out with friends, dancing (as a guest not employee) at clubs, having a few alcoholic beverages, cursing, and “enjoying” life. You only live once you know! And I was under the impression God would forgive me no matter what! He loves me. I can indulge all I want and ask forgiveness later, right? And the overall thought of God in general just was not at the forefront of my mind. I flew by the seat of my pants and ate up every moment. I felt invincible and maybe even above reproach.

One night that stands out in particular in my mind during this season was when a large posse of coworkers and I went out to a popular restaurant to celebrate. What, exactly, we were observing I cannot remember but I do recall standing by the bar with one or two others and exceeding my drink limit. I cannot speak for anyone else but I for one was juiced, tanked, intoxicated. It all became a blur of laughing, cheering, chattering (about God only knows what, I have no clue), and hopping in a cab with a bunch of others and heading to our next destination which was a trendy night club. Though I was probably there for hours it seemed like thirty minutes and then a particularly lovely gal from my work family (with whom I am still friends) took me by the arm and escorted me safely home. God watched over me that evening and thankfully so! I imagine He was probably shaking his head and muttering something about what a terrible mess I was but He gave me His mercy and protection though I certainly did not deserve it!

Two gals and I returned to that restaurant a second evening for dinner. While there I made many comments about the bartender and how he had flirted with us the first time we were there. As my mouth ran away with me, our server politely asked me how I knew the bartender and stated he was her boyfriend! DEER IN HEADLIGHTS! “Uh.” I could hear crickets echoing in my brain as every thought had quickly vacated the premises. She waited my response. I just wanted to climb under the table and disappear! What did my face look like? Was I smiling or was my jaw just hanging open? “I am SO SORRY!” I uttered in absolute embarrassment. “I had NO idea!” She smiled warmly and gave a chuckle. We did not even have our food yet and already I could not finish mine fast enough. Needless to say I never went back to that establishment again!

Faith Hope Love: Chapter Eight
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