Posted by: karanoel | February 3, 2011

The space between

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

With all the talk of bows, arrows, and gnarly crossbows this week, I find myself craving an archery outing. It may also have something to do with the verse I put in yesterday’s post (He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Ps 18:34). It has been taped to my computer for a couple months, apart from a brief spell when I tried to swap it out for a lovely verse on wisdom, which made me unreasonably restless for my battle verse.

Cole has told me that archery is not my thing… that I will have poor aim and be very frustrated. His reasoning is well founded  and he is probably right, but I can’t stop picturing myself with a bow and arrow in my hands and that leathery thing on my wrist. So I’m going to give it a try this weekend. Just a heads up, so you can steer clear of the local archery ranges.

Anyway, because I’m all about archery right now, I thought I would return to the ‘space between.’ You know, between the bow and the target, that sweet spot in the will of God. If we look at this space with natural eyes, it will look like a whole lot of nothingness. We won’t be able to see the things we’re seeking: relationship, job, home, adventure, success, admiration, or anything else on our wish list. And we won’t be able to see fulfillment of the reasons we’re seeking those things: happiness, acceptance, security, identity, purpose, peace, and satisfaction, to name a few.

All we will see is God, maybe off in the distance, and sometimes it won’t feel like enough. Handing over our wants with very little – if anything – in view will seem like a complete surrendering of everything that matters to us… because it is, for a time.

But as we seek God and his kingdom above everything else, we will end up obtaining our desires in their purest form, where they are unpolluted by the world and its ideas of what they look like or how to get them. The trick to this is that we don’t get to see these things without first letting go of our grip on our wants and our insistence on how they play out.

The image I get is of a prison. We’re on the outside, having been set free by the cross, but there are things on the inside that look oh so titillating. So we reach in to grab a shiny object that we just must have, get a good grip, and realize it will not fit through the bars. All it takes is letting go of the object of our desire and we will be free. Ah, but that is where we get tripped up. We think if we let it go, we will not be okay, so we hold on tighter than ever and often accuse God of keeping something good from us. And we stay bound by an act of our will.

The irony is that if we would just set the thing down as an act of worship, trust, surrender, or obedience, not only would we know freedom, but God will often give the thing we are seeking in a far better way and measure and time. Regardless of what “object” he gives, he will never fail to meet the need and satisfy the craving. Because he is a good God and loving Father who loves to give good and perfect gifts.

Oh my. There is so much I want to say. I’m going to use some self-control and leave it be. There’s always tomorrow, right?


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