I started reading a new book today. Its a book I’ve had for a few months and have read snippets of, but today, I actually started on page one (a very good place to start…).
Since Na, I have been struggling with fear. Fear to approach God. Fear because I know He’s not safe, though I do believe Him to be good. Fear of submitting. Fear of sacrifice.
I long for the day when my sin does not cause me to want to hide, but instead when seeing that makes me run unhindered to the cross. Yet, still I desire to hide. And still, my Father, is calling to me. My Jesus is not saying “get away” rather “get back in line.”
I can feel the cords drawing me back to the cross. I can hear the voice of my Savior saying “come home.. ye who are weary come home.” Softly and tenderly, not harsh and angrily, He is calling. “Emily, your heart is longing. What you don’t realize right now (or what you in your anger are not wanting to admit), is that what your heart is longing for is me.”
In the Silver Chair, the schoolgirl Jill finds herself alone and terribly thirsty in an unknown woods. She comes upon a stream, but between her and the water sits the great Lion. Though her thirst is overpowering, she stops in her tracks, too fearful to advance or to run.
“If you’re thirsty, you may drink,” says the Lion.
The terrified Jill wants assurance that she will not be eaten. “Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?” she asks.
“I make no promise” the Lion answers.
“I daren’t come and drink,” Jill replies.
“Then you will die of thirst,” the Lion tells her. When Jill says she will go and look for another stream the Lion responds, “There is no other stream.”
In the end, Jill musters up the courage to step forward and drink, though it is the hardest thing she has ever done. The God of Narnia cannot be manipulated by human wants. The Lion knows that Jill needs water, and he wants her to have it. But she wants it on her own terms, which means avoiding him and getting a guarantee of safety.
Aslan knows that Jill’s terms for happiness will not achieve her ultimate goal. She wants fulfillment without encountering God, and her fulfillment on those terms is possible. Aslan ignores her desire for comfort and safety, insisting that she take the necessary risk of encountering God as the ultimate satisfaction of all needs and desires.
I was created to find my happiness in Him alone. God, please grant grace to turn away from my fear and self-gratifying desires and idolatry. Help me to see You as the joy for which I was created. Grant me the gift of humility and repentance to run to You as the Source of my only strength. I can’t do this on my own. I am weak, needy and distracted. But I am grateful I have a God that is strength in my weakness, that is sufficient to meet my need and that can focus my distracted heart on Him alone.