The Thorns & The Sea

After being completely immersed in the X-Squad culture of pressing in, listening prayer, making it rain, miracles of healing, miracles of freedom, and just the overall beauty of community and overcoming challenges together… The biggest thing I’ve struggled with at home has been “contentment.”

I am perfectly content. I have no wants, no needs. Everything I could possibly want or need lays before my feet.

And yet I have experienced more distance from God in the past seven months being home than I did the entire Race.

Coming home I knew I desperately wanted and needed to find a church and a Christian community. And after finding one I could see myself loving, it took me 3-4 months before I actually got involved. Why? Contentment.

“Eh I don’t need a church. I don’t need a Christian community. I’ll be fine on my own like this.” Were thoughts that crossed my mind in those months.

Then one day I realized, “The devil must be loving this. There must be something awesome happening at this church/for me if I am being blinded by contentment.”

So I decided to check out the service again, and not leave until I had connected with at least one person by the end of the night. The morning came, I prayed very specific, passionate prayers about the people I hoped to meet and be in my Christian community if “this is the one God has for me.” I left that night connecting with not just one person, but pretty much all of them. And when I looked back on my prayers from that morning, every.single.one was answered, exactly as I had prayed them.

It’s amazing to me what contentment can hold us back from. Sometimes we are so scared of letting go of the “safe” and “easy” that we are missing out on the “amazing out-of-this-world” things God has in store for us. If we would only let go and let God.

Even though amazing out-of-this-world things have been happening since I’ve been home, I still feel the distance. I’m probably not as far as I feel but because it’s different from the Race, it’s just a different kind of closeness I have to get used to.

Tonight I laid it before God’s feet, asking what else I can do. Asking Him to chase me harder since I feel lost.

So He gave me a vision.

A man, Jesus, was ferociously crashing through a path of thorns as tall as He was. Tearing, shoving, pushing away the thorns as they scratched and clawed at Him. He was desperate to get to me and didn’t care about the pain He was enduring to do so.

Then, I saw me. Not in the thorns, but at the bottom of the ocean. Trying frantically to go as fast as I could to reunite with Jesus. But no matter how hard or fast I tried to go, the water pressed in around me and I struggled, getting nowhere fast.

Finally, eventually, I reached the shore and Jesus, bruised and scratched, practically had to drag me the last little part out of the sea’s surface into His arms.

I’m not going to pretend like I know the exact interpretation of this vision.

I know that being at the bottom of the sea, trying to sprint and getting nowhere fast, showed me exactly how I feel right now when it comes to my pursuit in the Lord.

But more importantly I know that Jesus crashing through the thorns is a perfect picture of the gospel. He willingly endured pain, just so He could end up in my life. Ready to catch me when I fall, hold me when I can’t stand, and pick me back up when I don’t want to.

I know that He will always be at the edge of the water, waiting for me to emerge from whatever sin is holding me back, ready to welcome me back into His arms.

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