Sometimes when we’re in the middle of the muck and mire of God’s mission, we get short-sighted. Fussing and fidgeting to find a way out becomes the order of the day. We focus on our circumstances and we need tangible experiences to shift our gaze.
This morning after my walk at the ocean, I watched as a paralyzed woman in a wheel chair was rolled to the shoreline by her friend. A few moments later, her friend returned with a beach chair. The friend then helped the woman shift from one chair to the other. As the woman’s legs dangled limply in the water I wondered, “Can she feel the ocean on her legs? Does she know when the tide breaks across her toes? Or, does she have to look down at the ocean to see that she is joined to it?”
Things like legs that work I take for granted…took for granted…until I saw her there. It’s so easy to do that when we’re in the muck of the mission…until we come face-to-face with something like a woman in the wheelchair at the edge of the ocean. I bowed my head and asked for forgiveness.
After a while, the tide had flowed out significantly enough that the woman’s legs were no longer in the water. She really struggled this time…fighting to find enough arm strength to shift herself up into her wheelchair so that her friend could move the low beach chair back into the foamy tide. Just then, a strong young man came up alongside them offering to help. The paralyzed woman agreed. Effortlessly, the man lifted her up out of the beach chair and held her in his arms until her friend moved the chair out into the water. Then, the man gently placed the woman back down into the chair and continued walking.
God’s love is just like that when we feel stuck and pinched by life’s circumstances. When we stop our striving and allow Him into that very place–into the middle of the muck–He will gently pick us up in our paralysis; our legs dangling helplessly from His everlasting arms. He will cradle us to Himself and then, when it’s time, He will set us down in the spacious place of His presence–an ocean of grace. “When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.” Psalm 118:5