Y'all. Y'all. I'm not even from the south and I have no other words. I had no idea my 31 Days of writing would begin this way. Sheer mayhem. With company from out of town, with illness striking, with a spur of the moment adventure to the country....what a whirlwind this past week was, and what a gift. I'm not convinced I can do anything well on a tight deadline and even though the bones of this series are written, I couldn't give the final push this past week to publish posts here. And do you know what was swirling in my mind while I let things fly off the rails and couldn't be in this space writing?
Psst. Psst. I knew it would go down like this. I knew you couldn't share your story well. Couldn't be consistent, couldn't be faithful. Do you even have anything worth saying?
Lies. Every one. And you know what takes a girl with a song in her heart straight down into a deep pit of hopelessness? Listening to any of 'em. In my ideal series, a different post would hold this Day 2 spot, but you know what? I think my week went haywire so I wouldn't miss this word for you today. A word I hadn't counted on sharing that wedged its way in to the narrative because I needed to feel it and know it and remember it again too.
So here it is girls. . . . .
God's plan will not be derailed when we blow it.
It just won't.
Do you feel like you've blown it? My guess is that if you are here with me to Remember the Girl Who Sings, you have the sense of having lost her. Maybe you wonder if you even deserve to have her back- to be full of joy again. Maybe you feel like you missed your chance to flourish because of poor choices or unbelief. Maybe you've never even known what it looks like to experience the joy of the Lord, to sing a song of purpose and freedom and hope, and so you are reading here today because you long so, so much for something more. Maybe you wonder if a life lived fully and passionately is even within your grasp.
You know what truth I can't escape when I read my Bible? The people God choses are very seldom the people we would choose. They are typically arrogant or lack faith and are almost always insecure. They have made mistakes again and again.
For a long time, my least favorite person in the Bible was Jonah. The dude just could not pull it together. I think reading about him and judging him made me feel better about myself (true story). So, Jonah opposed the will of God, and ran away to avoid speaking to the people of Nineveh, because he didn't think they were worthy of God's mercy. These people were a brute force in Jonah's time and he had likely seen destruction in their wake. He did not want to see them experience God's favor. . . the favor that he clung to, the favor he thought came from all the ways he was living his life the right way.
You can probably already see why I don't like him. I see just a little too much of myself in this guy. Poor Jonah, it took being swallowed up in the belly of a fish for three days before he obeyed. Yet even after seeing with his own eyes the people he despised come to repentance, after seeing God's will complete, Jonah's heart didn't soften. He went to whine about it all under a tree.
Moses on the other hand has always seemed so heroic to me. But if we take a closer look, the truth comes out that he was pretty brash and arrogant, at least at first. The book of Acts tells us that he had a passion for God's call on his life, to identify with his people, to be the one to free them from their oppression. He thought he would be welcomed as their rescuer by asserting himself. Nope. Moses jumped the gun.
“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not." -Acts 7: 23-25
So he ran. He hid in the desert for forty years.
I've hidden too.
But we serve a God who visits a second time.
He came again to Jonah. After three dark days that must have felt like death, our God came again. He wrought mercy on a nation that was wretched.
He came again still, only this time, God Himself anguished for three days of death.
He brings mercy to me.
He came again to Moses. He said, I AM. I am the author of it all. I am transcendent. I am holding all things together. I am enough. He rescued a people.
Then he came and was I AM in the flesh. He was enough.
He rescues me.
The greater Jonah emerging after three days of death has come. The greater Moses, delivering us from bondage, is with us.
He not only comes again to use us, now he dwells with us. In us.
He is the God who visits a second time and a third and a fourth. . . . his plan will not be derailed by us, by what we think we have lost or have left behind, because his plan is really not about us at all. Its about Him.
He has called you to find your voice, to seek him. . . to sing. He is visiting you again. Nothing is going to blow that.
Singing with you with great hope today and clinging to him as we study together this month,