The edge of a blade

Last night I dreamt. I dreamt I was in the position of so many of our brothers and sisters, surrounded by those I love, with a knife to my throat.

I have so many times said I’m willing to die for Jesus, but last night was the closest I’ve ever come to it. I know it was only a dream, but it felt so, so real.

I was faced with choices: do I run and try my luck getting past guards, showing my cowardice? Or do I simply wait in line, hoping something will happen to save us before it’s my turn to pass on? Or do I chose the most surely fatal choice, and volunteer to go first, to save someone else for now, to be a testimony? I have no idea what I would chose in real life, but in my dream I chose the latter.

They shoved eight of us into an area-type area, and pushed us to our knees. The cold steel was drawing blood, a man shouting at us, demanding we deny Christ. Not one gave in. He stopped, “All right then. Why don’t you tell us why you so love this ‘God’ that would let you die? Huh?”

So one by one we stood, telling all just what God had done for us. All who were nearby heard clearly the gospel eight times over. I’m surprised they didn’t stop us. It was surely the hand of God.

When I spoke, I found that I really was ready to die for my Lord. I was scared, yes, but I was willing. He after all did tell us it would happen. Overwhelming love overflowed from my heart and into my words, surely placed there by my Father Himself.

They had heard enough, and the knives sunk into our skin. One by one my brothers and sister fell before me, and soon I too joined them in the Heavenly Kingdom.

~~~

I have never been hurt. Well, never seriously, not that I can remember. So it’s hard for me to predict or even imagine how it felt for my Lord to be whipped, beaten and crucified, or how it will feel for me to die for Him as He died for me. But I pray with all my heart He will give me the strength to die for Him.

I pray with all my heart He will give me the strength to live for Him.

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Time to awake

We’re sleeping. I’m sleeping. We’ve been living day to day, assuming that we have tomorrow, taking for granted what we have today that could very well be ripped away from us tomorrow.

I. I’ve been.

I go through periods that I completely distance myself from my emotions. I know exactly what my heart beats for, and that’s exactly what I avoid. Why? Because feeling is hard. Because more often than not, feeling hurts. But while I avoid a lot of hurt, I also avoid a lot of happiness. Of joy. Of fulfillment.

See, I was made to feel. We all were. But we’ve given up on that. Most (and not all) of us have made one of two decisions: to become utterly selfish, and stop feeling completely, trudging day to day, or to become utterly selfish and become drunk on temporary happiness, each time coming back for more and more, unable to get enough to feel joy.

There’s no rainbow without rain.

I must die to myself. I was not created to make sure I was happy, each moment determined by what would please me. I was created to do what God has called me to do, and find joy along the way.

To pick up my cross. Sign my death sentence. Ensure my future. Walk into the place I know I am to die. And do so not because it makes me happy. But because it fills me with joy I cannot explain. A feeling that makes you want to cry and sing at the same time. A feeling that crushes you inside, but a feeling that makes you feel more freedom than you’ve ever known.

I was recently asked a question: what are you holding back from total surrender. My mind told me nothing. I was willing to give up anything. But I couldn’t even make myself believe that lie. My heart told me that I was still clinging to my dreams more than ever. If I had to give them up, I believe I would feel cheated out of life. I was supposed to have an adventure, right? But I know no adventure could measure up for what lies in store for me after I surrender absolutely everything.

So here I am. More than likely, I will have to recommit to this daily, but today I am laying down the last thing I cling to: my dreams and plans. I will not pursue that which I desire, but that which is better than gold. I will trust God that He will love me and make my life, however far from that which I imagined, an adventure of its own.

I surrender all.