November 14, 2010

Ninevah

I just woke up from a very short nap. I was reading my homework, Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and I was overcome with sleepiness. I barely made it to the next poem, "Kubla Khan," which happens to be amongst my favorite poems. I closed my eyes just for a moment, and wham, an hour passes by. I don't remember anything other than I woke up thinking I had better get going, and start my study questions (I have six each week). I took a few moments (on my way to the office) for a snack: some Lays and Diet Coke (hey, a girl needs some salt and diet to get her engine revved up -- especially for writing about Coleridge!)

As I sat down at my computer, I briefly checked my emails. Then I went to Internet Explorer and punched in my blog. I am not sure why, just that I felt the Holy Spirit pointing me in that direction. I think it was in response to something I said to the Lord, and I think it was His answer to me. Anyway, here I am, and this is what I thought I would say (for what it is worth, LOL!)

I have written a couple posts about Ninevah and Jonah, the OT Prophet. You are familiar with the story, that is for certain, as it is one of the children's stories that gets told every year in Sunday School. I have termed my rebellion and disobedience, NINEVAH, because that is pretty much what it represents to me. I have spent the majority of my life running from Ninevah, my Ninevah, the Ninevah God ordained for me to visit. I chose to go my own way, to run away from Him, and in doing so, I have made a sorry mess of things. I have made decisions that I thought were in my best interest when in reality they were the exact opposite. I have found myself stranded in places where the Lord never intended me to be, and I have sat here waiting for Him to rescue me, to pick me up, and to turn me around. The Lord chose, instead, to teach me and to instruct me so that instead of waiting for Him to rescue me, I simply picked myself up and turned myself around, and I walked back out of the mess I made, and back towards His Ninevah. Now, God did indeed rescue me, this is clearly certain. He saved me, and He gave me His Grace to sustain myself through some pretty awful and perilous times. He taught me how to be patient, and how to wait for His Spirit. He taught me how to listen for "His still small voice," so that I wouldn't miss His leading again. And most of all, He taught me to trust Him, to believe in Him, and to rely on Him for my every need. I haven't been happy in this foreign place, and I have been utterly convicted about being here -- after all -- it was my fault, it was by my hand, and of my doing that I found myself right in this place.

Yes, 'it takes two to tango' as that funny saying goes, but still I ran away from God, and away from the message of His Gospel, and right into this place. I turned my heart away, and I turned my head and I walked from His Blessed Grace into a place where I found no friends, no home, and no real love. I lived in this place, making the best of things for so long, and then one day something happened: the door sprung open, the chain-latch released, and I found myself standing outside the door. I found myself standing there, free and able to move about. I was finally able to walk and walk and walk. So I walked on, and I walked on, and I walked some more. I met someone wonderful along the way, someone who helped me. I met another wonderful person who gave me good advice. I met some more people who surrounded me with their love, and gave me support and encouragement. I felt my spirit lift, and my thoughts began to refocus. I found my voice again, I found out I could say "no thank you," and not fear retribution. I found that through all my years of suffering, through all the ordeal, and through all the sorrow -- I was a strong, a vital, and a very independent woman.

I also learned that my independence could no longer separate me from God. That maneuver is what got me into trouble in the first place, so this time, with a contrite heart and a broken spirit, I bent my knee and submitted my heart to His Authority. I gave everything over to Him as Lord and King, and I received Hope, Grace, Mercy, and Joy -- everlasting Joy and Peace -- in return. I found my purpose and the reason why God called me to Ninevah in the first place. I reconnected with my mission, and I came to be excited about it. I came to see it with new eyes, with a new sense of resolve -- I can do this now, I can go here, Lord. "Yes, my Child," the voice came, "Yes, you can."

My Ninevah is far away from where I live now, and it is a place where I will go when the time is right. I am not to go now; no, not at all, I am to be "ready" to go. I can do this too, Lord. I can be ready to go. "Yes, my Child, that is my plan for you."

As I look over all these years, I see such sorrow, such pain, such heartache. Yet, today, I stand (or sit here as I am sitting now) and can say that I have inexpressible joy in my heart, and such a deep sense of contentment in my soul. I am loved. I am whole. I am happy (in the Lord), and I am completely in love with the One who loved me first. I am Good because God has said so. I am Good because He is Good and He only creates Good things. I love His Goodness, and I love the way His Goodness flows from His throne of Grace. I can go to Him and receive His Goodness. I can sit and listen to the birds and experience that same Goodness. I can look at the sunset or the ocean waves and know for certain the my God is Good. Everything is Good because God is Good.

My Ninevah is over there, on the horizon. It is a literal place for me, a place where I will serve the Lord in missions some day. Until then, I am to be busy getting myself prepared to go. I have a lot to do, a major to-do list, just as God gave to Noah. Thankfully, I don't have to build an Ark, but I am building a life that is pleasing to God, a life that will sustain me through the coming Flood. I am being made ready and fit for Glory. I am being made ready and fit to be apart of the great Harvest of mankind. I am being made ready, and my to-do list needs doing. I am ready to start working on my list, checking things off, and whittling it down until there is just one item left; and that one item will say:

GO TO NINEVAH, DEAR ONE. YOU ARE READY, SO GO!

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