Saturday, August 16, 2014

a process

It happens often, but that doesn't mitigate the wonder.

I puzzle something out - slowly think through an idea that is planted by a Bible verse, or a stray word in a conversation, or a book that I am reading, or a combination of all of the above. I think and think and come to a conclusion about a truth that I have missed, or reach deeper into the meaning of a truth that I have always known. It is hard work, but it is satisfying work. It takes awhile. Sometimes days. Sometimes weeks. Occasionally months or years.

I reach a conclusion that doesn't exactly change everything, but subtly changes the way that I view everything.

This process is fascinating and exhilarating, but also a little...frightening. Because I wonder if what I've discovered has value. After all, I'm only an inexperienced young woman, so it is natural to wonder if I'm pulling my ideas out of thin air and if they have no basis in reality. I wonder if my mind-blowing thought is just an illusion, since I have never encountered it anywhere else.

And then it happens. I start seeing the truth that I have discovered in many different places. Woven through the Scriptures. In books hundreds of years old. In blog posts from last month. In quotes I stumble across online from people I highly respect. And this fills me with delight.

It is an indication that what is so new to me, what I worked so hard to reach, is as old as the hills. This truth has been spoken by and to God's people for centuries, has changed many more lives than my own.

And it is different, more valuable, than if I had just been taught about it by other people from the beginning. It is also much more valuable than if I figured it out on my own and then never found any indication that others agree with what I have discovered. At the same time, this truth is old and confirmed and solid, but also new and exciting and personal because of the work that I did to arrive at it. I confidently claim it, knowing that it has been claimed through the centuries by those who seek what I do: a wild, precious life lived in the presence of the Father and spilling His grace out into the lives of those around me.

This pattern is a reminder that God is with me, that He loves me, that He wants me to puzzle my way to a truth by myself because the process will bring me closer to Him. Then, once He has walked me through it, He confirms my conclusion by showing me that many, many of His children have walked through this process and come to the same conclusion.

It's a pretty amazing feeling.

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