VISION AND REALITY
"And the parched ground shall become a pool." Isaiah 35:7
We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.
"Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And batter'd by the shocks of doom
To shape and use."
God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.
The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don't lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.
One of the reasons I haven't been blogging much is because I've been in that "valley of humiliation," battered and, for the most part, discouraged and overwhelmed. I haven't felt like I've had much to say in the form of encouragement, but that in itself is evidence of my false self. Apparently, I will only blog when I feel like I can present a "glittering image," a somewhat polished self that will gain acceptance. I will allow a certain level of brokenness, but only so much that I can still maintain a sense of hope and courage. When I've lost all hope and am barely hanging on, I doubt anyone will want to hear from me, I doubt anyone will love me. In the past few days, God has been whispering a consistent drumbeat of love to my soul that lets me know once again it's okay to be out of control, to not have things figured out, to be in a place of obscurity.
My 40th birthday was a month ago (June 6) and surrounding that time was much "vision": vision that God initiated and I responded to and invested in, along with other beloved brothers and sisters. Maybe I'll write about it sometime, but I don't have the time right now. It's enough to acknowledge that the vision was real and is not disconnected from the valley of sorrow I quickly plunged into afterward. Though it felt like profound failure on my part to "sustain the vision," it is simply the reality in which I exist with God during this season. He will fulfill the vision he gives (Phil 1:6). In His compassion I trust, not my consistency or success.
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