April 14, 2010

Crossing An Abyss

Recently I have been in an intense spiritual struggle. I found myself lying prostrate before God a few days ago. I just laid there on my living room floor hoping that the Holy Spirit would interpret what I was trying to say to God. What was I trying to say to God? I really don’t know. I just know that I needed him desperately. In spite of my love for him, there seemed to be this great abyss that I couldn’t cross over. He was way over there on the safe side, and I was here, hoping the rocks wouldn’t crumble under my feet. He was calling to me to come to him, but all I could see was the blackness of that abyss. I didn’t have any walk-on-water faith. That’s when I fell to the floor before him with unrecognizable pleas for pity. I had forgotten that God’s idea of compassion was sometimes different than mine. Sometimes God’s love is tough. I too often find myself treating God like a magician who can wave a magic wand and zap away the things I don’t like. God fortunately doesn’t work that way. He reveals himself to me in the person of Jesus Christ. He allows me to discover him for myself, making what I learn about him really stick. He leads me to the solutions and walks me through the steps. Just like a father helping his child with his algebra homework wouldn’t just do it for him, God doesn’t do it for me either. What would I learn? What would I really believe about him if he did things that way?

I didn’t feel any different after I got up off the floor, but I knew that God saw me. I knew that a bridge was being laid across that abyss. I knew it not because of how I felt, but because of what he promises in his word.

Matthew 11:28

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Ironically, the rest that Jesus called me to was action. Sounds funny doesn’t it? I felt paralyzed by my circumstances, and the longer I stood there the further I sank. So he bent down, reached out his hand, picked me up, and said, “Go.” He didn’t lift me out of the miry clay so I could just sit down and rest. He lifted me up so I could, “Go.”
Psalm 40:2

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.


Sometime after I had that encounter with God on my living room floor,  I found a pile of yellow lined paper setting on the dining room table. My husband had found a legal pad to write on and inside were several old notes of mine from when I taught a Sunday school class several years ago. I leafed through them, and as I read the words, tears came to my eyes as God brought me full circle to a lesson he has been trying to teach me for years. Scribbled on the yellow paper I read, “When God tells us to do something, in order to be obedient we have to make adjustments in our lives. We can’t continue life as usual, stay where we are and go with God at the same time. Noah could not continue life as usual and build an ark at the same time. Moses could not stay in the desert herding sheep and stand before Pharaoh at the same time. The ultimate act of faith is becoming a Christian, allowing God to dwell within us and become Lord of our life. God calls us to action so that his will can be fulfilled on this earth. We are his agents and should be ready, willing and honored to answer his call. The church was founded on men and women who were willing to take action, make adjustments, and be obedient.”

So there on the floor of my living room, motionless and empty, God raised me up, not by pitying me, but by calling me to action. I thought my paralysis caused my inaction, but God has shown me that my inaction had caused my paralysis. Simple? Maybe. All I know is that he washed the clay off my feet and got me moving again. And like the refreshing waters flowing against the hard dry rocks in these pictures, He restored my soul.  The only thing I did was go to him with no words, no feeling, and no idea how to get across the abyss. He honors our coming.


  1. God is so good to show us our next step...and I'm so thankful that He is showing you what to do.


  2. Stephani,
    I know how often I want to hold onto my plans in the midst of His directing me into something so different. And, you're right, you can't stay where you are when He's leading you elsewhere. Sweet surrender it becomes.

  3. Stephani,

    Isn't that something that God ministered to your heart through your own words, left in a notebook long ago?

    I find that fascinating and so very ... God-like. :-) He's somethin' , isn't He?

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. "Go!" Such a simple word, but it can revolutionize what we do. I, too, love the story that came full circle with your own notes. God is so good to work with us like he does.

    Blessings to you, Stephani!

  5. Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sharing your heart with us...showing us more of just who this One is that we call Father! I totally understand inaction causing paralysis....all too well! Thank you for putting it into words.

  6. Hi Stephanie,
    I have visited your blog today and I have so enjoyed my visit. God is and I am so thankful!
    I look forward to following you and please drop by my blogs when you have time.I am new to blogging and look forward to sharing and making new blogging friends.

  7. Hey Stephani~ your post today blessed me beyond measure. When I read, "the ultimate act of faith is becoming a Christian" I just smiled. Someone said the very same to me just a few days ago words. And I'm honored you would add me to your list of blogs! ~Deb

  8. What a beautiful, beautiful entry and what a testimony to our Lord and Savior and His faithfulness to us. Yes, He does honor our coming and the groanings of our hearts. Glory to Him!

    Added note: I cannot imagine the inside of your car not being neat. :o)

  9. My friend Stephani,
    You have spoken words of truth over me. I have been moved to the very core by your words and thank God for the work He is doing in you.
    grace to you

  10. I am just getting around to catching all the WWHW posts. Thank you for sharing. Your post was such a blessing to this heart tonight.

  11. Stephani, your post stopped me in my tracks. Your experience with the Lord reminds me that the Father knows what we have need of...Thank you for sharing your heart.

  12. I enjoyed looking over your blog. I found your profile on another blog I follow and I added myself to follow you. You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You, Ron

  13. Just a note to let you know that I've bee thinking about you...and missing your posts! Hope all is well with you.

  14. Linked her from Jennifer's blog.

    Good post. I like that Matt. 11 passage tremendously. Preached on it this Sunday.

    You have a good blog. If you get a chance, please visit Family Fountian.


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