Love Lifted Me

“I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, When God grabbed and held me. God’s my strength, he’s also my song, And now he’s my salvation. Hear the shouts, hear the triumph songs in the camp of the saved? “The hand of God has turned the tide! The hand of God is raised in victory! The hand of God has turned the tide! I didn’t die. I lived! And now I’m telling the world what God did. God tested me, he pushed me hard But he didn’t hand me over to Death. Swing wide the city gates-the righteous gates! I’ll walk right through and thank God! This Temple Gate belongs to God! So the victors can enter and praise.”          (Psalm 118 MSG)

Like David, I remember feeling like I was on the edge of the cliff. All hope had been lost as I was trying to figure out the next step in my life. I thought I had it all figured out; I wrote the vision, laid it all out before God and asked for His blessings. I would start Graduate School, start teaching as a Graduate Assistant, and then begin a career in academia. To my surprise, God had a different plan. But when the door was closed on my much anticipated plan it left me feeling empty, deflated to say the least. I wanted my plan to work because I felt that was the best plan for ME. If my plan wasn’t going to work then “I” was all out of options! There was nothing left for me to do. I couldn’t seem to shake this bad feeling of rejection that had come back to haunt me from my childhood. This triggered me into a downward spiral of acute onset chronic depression. I was spiritually paralyzed, sinking, and I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. Surely God does not have a better plan for my life than the one “I” came up with, right? How does a Christian fall into this trap? How does one who loves and talks to God daily fall into this wretched sinful state?

As startling as it seems, it happens all too often. We as Christians believe our thoughts ARE God’s thoughts. As we present our lives to Him we forget that He already KNOWS the plans for our lives. He already knew them when He fearfully and wonderfully created us. Our everyday plan and purpose should consist of us staying in fellowship with Him so that He reveals each step of His plan to us, then we can walk in those steps as He gives us instructions. It is a JOURNEY!

My greatest lesson on my journey with God came through this time. With humility, I learned the dance of obedience. I was desperate and I cried out to Him from a place of deep dissatisfaction. I literally removed every distraction that was hindering me from hearing God’s voice, sat still, and I focused my attention on Him. At first, the overwhelming presence of God was so much that when I heard instructions—I hesitated (partial obedience is still disobedience) because I wasn’t accustomed to hearing so clearly. As my faith grew I listened for each step and obeyed… it was if I was taking a stairway to heaven. I finally received those spiritual hearing aids that I needed and now I pray for that overwhelming presence to fill me daily!

This could not have happened at a better time in my journey with God. I have always had a desire to work full time in ministry and I can’t help but believe that this was a necessary and permissive act by God to allow me to hear from Him as it will be needed for each new season that I embrace. As I begin my second semester of nursing school I can’t even imagine how exceedingly and abundantly He wants to bless me. He just needed me to get to a place of provision so He could do just that! He is the lover of our souls and He is willing to allow the storms to blow just the right way to humble us and gain our attention. And I’m all in because He saved me…from myself. I can now say God is my strength and my song, and now I KNOW He’s my salvation.

 

 

April McCullough