When fear sets adrift

I wrote this the morning Amelia was admitted to the hospital, last Wednesday. When I was writing it, I had no idea yet what the day would hold. I wrote it simply because the concepts in the table were revolutionary to me. In some visceral sense, I knew that all the emotions in the third column stem not from God or even my own soul, but from Satan, chief lier of the universe. Seeing them written out, in black and white, was a moment of new clarity for me.

Adam & Eve
in His Image
(Genesis 1 & 2)
Adam & Eve
Chose to Try
to Be Like
God (Gen. 3)
This Rebellion
Resulted in Pain
(Genesis 3 & 4)


Spiritual Void
Adapted from Craig Ellison's From Eden to the Couch,
(2002) Christian Counseling Today, 10 (1), 30.

Drifting through pain is no fun. James MacDonald states, The good doesn't come until you embrace your trial (II Corinthians 12). I am aware of the weight of these words. I don't say them lightly, as though I could somehow just skip into that reality. I'm just telling you where the rock is so you can get your feet on it. If you're in the water right now and the waves are crashing, you've got to get back on solid ground. That's not going to happen until you embrace this trial. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses. The NIV says, I delight in weaknesses. (II Corinthians 12:10) Unless you embrace what God is doing with unwavering submission, you will not reap the good. Jesus Himself modeled this kind of victory in the garden when He prayed, "Your will be done." Not my will, God, but Your will. That's the essence of submission, and that's where victory begins.

When Satan turns my head and the lies of rejection, loneliness, inadequacy, exploitation, confusion, anxiety, worthlessness, and spiritual void again creep in, there I am in that awful moment in the garden, searching for some leaves to cover my shame and my nakedness. What has really happened, though? I have lost my footing on the rock. I feel the intensity of panic when I realize afresh separation from God. The curse is new and real and awful in that moment. Once, without Christ, forever set adrift by my own sin, I was in the deeps of the ocean, struggling alone. Yet, now I'm in the shallows, near the beach, boulders just underneath the feet I'm frantically kicking. For now I know that I have eternal life! (I John 5:13) I am no longer a slave to the lies that entered through the fall, for if the Son sets me free, I am free indeed (John 8:36). Instead, I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) And there is the solid rock, just under my kicking feet.