Friday, July 4, 2014

On Rainbows and Redemption

I remember like it was yesterday. It was the dead of winter and my first time to fly on a plane [that I could recall anyhow]. My best friend had spent a semester across the country at that point, and seeing her face to face couldn't come quick enough! I never thought much about seeing mountains, but as the plane began its decent and we came down below the clouds, my eyes locked into them like glue. I have always been a beach girl--but I had never seen any beauty like this before.

While the flight itself brought much excitement, seeing those vast, snow-capped ranges was unlike any of my wildest imaginations. Captivating, majestic. It was bold evidence of a creator. And by His grace, He spoke to me in the moments to follow.

I'd been in a psalm above the clouds, begging Him to use this time away from he mundane to renew for me vision for the future. That was [and still is] the hardest battle, right? What awesome thing will you let me do for your kingdom after I endure this boring, mundane season of school and work? Then you see these mountains and you remember just how great He is, right there in the day to day. I'd come out of a hard season and so desperately desired Jesus. I ended up in Isaiah in those final moments and this passage He engraved ever deeply upon my heart, a promise between He and I of what is to come. A covenant of sorts, THE hope and future He called me to.

I remember the slow-mo tears of gratitude, de-boarding the plane, hugging my best friend and driving through those mountains which continue to leave me in awe. I remember the bliss I could not contain as I tried to articulate how He'd just spoken to me--how I hoped so desperately this was the real deal, that I'd really heard from Him and fruit would bear. She smiled at me and nodded her head, I'm pretty sure. Before she dyed my hair black and encouraged some straight-across bangs to get me to that ex-murder look, of course.

So flash-forward FIVE years and just last week I find myself winding up and down those very same mountains through which He first spoke to me. I'm shedding tears in the quiet of the rear-seat as His faithfulness stands far firmer then these feeble knees of mine.

Those feet have touched states and nations. They've trekked through aboriginal lands in the dead of Australia and walked with a sister from death to life there. I can only pray by His grace, she knows Him now. Those feet stomped over colorful papers and streamers as a parade of idol worshippers marched across the street ahead in the middle of rural India. Those beautiful feet then returned to those tiny unreached villages with good news of salvation and ran with goats that provided income, sustained this sweaty body as it stood before a classroom of children each day, and walked from one house to another in the dark of night, sharing of the One who is and was and is to come. Our prayers were so bold and full of faith there. There was much rejoicing as these feet stood in the church and rested among the youth--enabling the teaching of several Psalms. Back home, these feet run after three littles and host lots of events, all that more might know Him. These feet get to rest as the Word is studied every week with the nations right in my little town. These feet humble me.

Back then, in those days when milk satisfied, I remember contemplating His reign. Was He really greater then all my screw ups and sin which still bound me? Would He ever make me feel clean? What could He possibly ever use my mess of a self for? How could someone like me bring Him glory?

Does He really reign?

I got to visit two sweet sisters in Virginia this past week, which led me into those mountains. We had such a sweet time at the beach and that car ride through those majestic mountains at the end of the trip brought much confirmation of how faithfully He really does reign. In a weekend with these sisters, one who traveled to India alongside me and came out still loving me. And the other who has stood the test of time--seven years of friendship now, years that have led us down paths we could have never foreseen but here we are in these mountains--proclaiming and weeping over a faithful Jesus.

All of this circulating through my mind and then all of a sudden--a rainbow. TWO rainbows appear. They lingered well over half an hour too. As I recounted God's covenant with Noah sealed with the bow in the sky, I couldn't help but melt over this covenant I believe God spoke over me five years prior, and here He is so faithfully reminding me---and with a rainbow over these mountains. Duh. Why not?

The lands & nations beneath these beautiful feet have taught me more of His reign then I could ever articulate back to them. Jesus makes these feet beautiful. 

Our God reigns, ya'll! He really does. These mountains shout it and these feet get to proclaim it.

He redeems. He reigns greater. He makes the dead come to life. I've seen it. I've lived it. I believe my God reigns.

By His grace, I am blessed to lean on these beautiful feet to continue to follow His reign in my life, whatever lands or peoples or mountains He has set before me. Here I am, send me!

[next up: nursing school--a mountain of epic heights, over which He still reigns greater]. Bring it on.

& a few favorites because these sisters are the life-giving kind

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