Fight or Flight.

You know how in the cartoons, right before the fat firework rockets off the ground it shakes?
Shakes violently because something volatile is happening on the inside, something so powerful that it’ll lift it far, far into the blanket of night sky?

We’re not all that different.
Before we’re propelled out of a plateau there’s usually a catalyst.  And that catalyst more than likely isn’t a nap or a mug of warm milk or a Family Circus comic.

It’s big.
It’s loud.
It’s intense.

And we shake.

There has been a lot of tough stuff not just as of late, but as of always.  Stuff that’s left me sobbing in a bathroom stall, tearing at the walls, laying flat on the tangerine shag carpet of a church floor in the dark.  There have been moments where what’s barely being contained in my skin shakes so violently I don’t know if it’ll propel or push me to drown under the weight of it all.

We’ll strip down and sink under the sweet frothy water of a bath to get clean, but when was the last time we peeled off our layers and hopped into the washing machine? Wrapped our legs & arms around the agitator in koala bear fashion and asked a friend to shut the lid?

When was the last time we walked miles out into the thrashing foam of a storming sea and sank underneath just to get clean?

Never.

We’ll take our lavender & rose scented six inches to get the job done.  No need to get crazy.  The spin cycle would make us sick, and the ocean’s swirling whirlpool would stuff our lungs until we didn’t surface.

I’ve been hiding out the last twenty nine years.
The waves have found me.  So I haven’t gone looking for more.

And on a mundane morning last week it hit me why.

Because God wins in the end.

And in typical Brian Reagan fashion, let me put the em-phasis on the right syl-lable.
Where you might’ve interpreted “Because God wins in the end.”  what my heart has come to believe is more “Because God wins in the end.

The end.

Not in the now.
NOT TODAY.
I have been head-down to the victory of the enemy in every moment, not fighting.
Shaking with a long lit fuse, but refusing to lift off.

And when I dare to lift my chin, it’s to fight the hope that I can hope for anything.
Because since Eden, that snake has lied to us and told us God’s not God.  That He’s not the victor.  That He doesn’t win.

And since the first time I heard I wasn’t worth loving, I believed it.  And He didn’t win.
And since the first time I heard I was a ‘grand disappointment’, I believed it. And He didn’t win.
…The first time I was told my heart was a liability and not an asset.
…The first time I was told that my writing did a great disservice to Jesus.
…The first time I was told I wasn’t pretty enough for someone to want me… that I wouldn’t make a good mom which is why I wasn’t one… that I wouldn’t make a good wife which is why I wasn’t one… that my hurts weren’t real, they were just an excuse…

I believed it.
And He didn’t win.

I mean, ultimately I guess I kept my head down so that I could just get to the end.  The end where He WILL WIN!
The end where He makes everything right and finally destroys the enemy and gathers all His kids up.
The end, where “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!”

And I guess till then, when I can drag out of the torrential tide or pop out of the Whirlpool, I just want to crawl into the placid warmth of my tub.
I’ll clamp my arms around my middle to stop the shaking that might get me world-changing and I’ll just wait. wait. wait.
I’ll just wait it out till the end.
I might end up shriveled like a rain-wrenched raisin, but there will hopefully be a lot less risk and a few less scars.

Last night I re-listened, but maybe this time heard the story of Ruth.
(And if all that name conjures for you is a drunken Real World-er or a baseball legend, I suggest you snag the nearest Old Testament.)

You see this woman Naomi lived in a beautiful city, Bethlehem, with her husband and her two boys… and when drought pushed them out they moved into Moab.
Where it was dark.
And sin-soaked.
Then her husband died.
Then her sons both died.
And there she was left alone and broken-hearted with her two daughters-in-law.
And Ruth, one of those daughters, didn’t leave her side.
And through the chapters she finds love and her mother-in-law finds joy again.
And Ruth gives birth to a son that was the grandpa of King David.

And in the old old pages of Ruth’s life we see God win.
God won when he used Ruth to well love the heart of her bitter mother-in-law, God won when he drew Boaz’s heart to notice her while she worked in a field as nothing all that special, God won when the man that could’ve taken her didn’t so Boaz could, God won when she conceived David’s grandad, and God won most of all when His son was born in the city that so many years before, Christ’s ancestors moved out of.
And it’s that Son, and His Spirit, and Himself that yes will eventually win it all, but HE IS WINNING IN THE NOW.

 

He wins the moment.
He wins the minute.
HE WINS EACH DAY.

He is winning when I’m being body slammed against the beach, and He’s winning even when I don’t feel the victory.  Because there is no second that slips by where the enemy doesn’t quake at the power of Christ.

So shall I sit up from under the tepid tapwater and take a breath, and then a step, and then a leap into the scary future?

YES.

Why would I let myself be convinced by the darkness to stay in the darkness?  Why would I let myself believe the loser when he tells me the winner doesn’t win?

Why would I spend 29 painful years ready to rocket and refusing to do so?

If I believed in a God who fought for me and fights for me still, would I fly?
If I believed in a God who parts seas and moves mountains and creates with words and humbly stretched on skin for us, would I fight?

If I believed in a God who wins, in a love that wins, in the good that wins… would I ignite the sky?

No more hiding.
No more keeping my eyes closed and fists clenched.
No more assuming today is decided.
No more bubble baths to hide out in when there’s a world waiting.
…A world where this very second, the enemy is being defeated!

BECAUSE HE HAS, HE IS, & HE WILL…
WIN.

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One Response

  1. Great to wake up to your inspiring thoughts this morning!

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