The Gift (v.2.0)

 

The darkness was closing in around me. The wilderness had been  bleak and threatening before, but not like this. Never like this. I couldn’t see a thing. Each step brought new danger. Each moment seemed more and more ominous. Even the air was heavy–I could scarcely breathe …

Hard pressed on every side, but not crushed.

Confusion reigned. Absolutely nothing made sense. I didn’t understand. In my mind, I retraced my steps over and over again. Each step had been taken in faith; in obedience. Or so I thought. Obviously, I had done something very wrong.  Took a wrong turn somewhere. How else could I have ended up here?

Perplexed, but not in despair.   

There was nowhere to hide. I felt exposed. No matter which way I turned, arrows from the enemy’s camp pounded me. Accusations.Threats. Lies. I would dodge them for a while, but they would start again from another direction. They swirled around me from every side–it became impossible to defend myself …

Persecuted, but not abandoned.

I was shaking from head to toe. I knew I couldn’t stand much longer. My legs felt like jello–one last well-timed jab kicked them out from underneath me. I lost my footing. I began to slip …

Struck down, but not destroyed.

BUT.  NOT.  DESTROYED.

I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was down for the count, but a strength I didn’t know I possessed lifted me from the ground. I had been struck down, but I refused to quit. It wasn’t over until it was OVER.

As I clawed my way back up, things became strangely calm. Peaceful, even. I fumbled over to a clearing. The fog lifted just a bit. I could see well enough to take inventory. I was bruised and bloodied. I was weary and disoriented. But I was not crushed. I was not in despair. I had not been abandoned …

And I had not been destroyed.

I knew the worst was over, but I was still incredibly shaky. My steps were tentative. I hadn’t been destroyed, but it also hadn’t been pretty. Although I had somehow managed to survive, I knew I must have done just about everything wrong. The deep regret I felt over my failure seemed worse than the wounds I sustained in the battle. I wanted to be brave. I wanted to show I could be trusted as a warrior. I wanted to honor him by standing faithfully in the heat of battle.

Instead, I barely made it out alive.

Humbled and broken, I feebly bowed before the Commander of the Angel Armies; the Lord of Hosts. I was so relieved by his presence, but deeply grieved that I had let him down–the One I so desired to please.

I’m so sorry I failed.  I’m so, so sorry.  But if you still want me, I’m still yours.  I have so little to offer you. I wish I could give you more, but  all I can offer you is … is this …”

I opened my fist and released a single, pea-sized nugget.  It was the one thing I hadn’t lost. It was so small.  It seemed so insignificant. But I had managed to keep it safe throughout the battle.

“This is what’s left. I know it’s very small, but it’s all I have … it’s for you.”

As I laid my minuscule gift at his feet, I was startled to realize it didn’t look the way it had when I first set out on the journey. Then it had been rough and jagged–an ordinary looking rock, really. But now … now it glowed.   It was no longer rough and jagged, it was smooth and polished.  It sparkled.  It was dazzling …

It was pure gold.

I gasped. He smiled. Our eyes met. And I knew …

This is what he wanted all along.

What I saw as failure, he saw as a gift. A gift more precious than the gold it was wrapped in…

He saw faith.

And it pleased him.

***********************
So glad the Lord doesn’t see things the way we do. I wrote this allegorical post based on 2 Cor. 4:8 at the end of 2011. Been pondering more and more just how precious faith is to him–and how often it doesn’t look at all the way we think it ought to look–so I wanted to re-post.  ~Cindy

11 thoughts on “The Gift (v.2.0)

  1. So very glad you chose to re-post this. Powerful, Cindy…and as always, a good reminder of what it’s really all about.

  2. Cindy,
    I love those scriptures…so grateful Paul wrote them to remind us of God’s gracious promises. Thanks for vividly sharing your experience. I’ve been there and done that too and I am always amazed our Lord seeks relationship with Him, desiring our faith during times of failure or success. Sometimes its hard, and I want to prove how much I love Him by how much I serve Him…then this simple reality comes to mind. God just wants me to believe Him, trust Him, lean on Him, for all of life. I can bring nothing to HIm, but my need to have faith increased and sustained through my life.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Robin – I thought the post is well written and communicates an important truth very clearly. Since this is not something I’m familiar with by personal experience, I’m not sure I can be much help getting the word out, but I will pray that Jesus uses your voice to help bring truth and freedom!

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