I lost my voice this weekend. I don’t mean the “my voice hurts, so I shouldn’t speak.” But I one hundred percent LOST my voice. And if you know me at all, you know how challenging that was for me. I am a verbal processer, I HAVE to talk. I love to talk. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I have to be communicating in some way or another or else it is a missed moment.
Growing up I tried some sports out like swimming, soccer, and American flag-football. I mean—they never stuck, I ended up being a theatre major at the end of it all, but there was always this concept of sports, a game being comprised of moments. Which I believe is still true to this day.
There is one game I can vividly remember with a passion. I remember it because it was the only game I ever got a touchdown in. Our team was the Seahawks (I think our coach picked the name, either way, ugh), and we were playing a good game against one of the hardest teams in the league full of 12 and 13 year-olds. All game I had been rushing and blitzing the front offensive line getting in a couple sacks being sure I was putting on some pressure against their quarterback. Towards the end of the game the energy was starting to get heightened and we were in need of a clutch play to tie up the game. We were in need of a hail-mary. I was put in as a receiver in an options hail-mary play. I wasn’t going to get the ball, how could I? I play the front line, this is just to put off their team. “Down, Set, Blue-forty-two, Blue-forty-two, HUT!” I started running as fast as I could down the field, I turn my head back and the football is right there and I catch it, I catch the ball and sprint with all my might down the field. I did it. I made a moment in the game.
This was almost a surreal moment for me as a player. Almost an out of body experience for myself, I was able to create a moment. To this day I still think I am just a clutch player with no true skill, but just comprised of moments when it comes to sports. But as that 12 year-old, to be able to put those points on the board, it was a feeling like no other.
Our journey with Jesus is very much comprised of moments, I mean, objectively you can say that about every chapter in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Every disciple has a journey with Jesus composed of their own moments, choices. However, these choices have to have the guidance of trust, a trust that is rooted.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”Jeremiah 17:7-8, ESV
In middle school I went on this retreat with my youth group at church. The theme of the weekend was “Rooted.” What does it mean to be completely rooted in who God is? Now, this was my first ever retreat with the youth group and it was AWESOME (thanks Monty and Heather, if you are reading this), but I don’t think I truly grasped this idea until I really got into college. That where you put your roots, where those moments occur, they will drastically have an impact on how you respond to God.
During middle school discovered that my big moments on the flag-football team, the Seahawks, was not translating into my experience in those hallways. So, I dropped those moments and chose other things to set my roots into like Orchestra, or Cross-Country. But eventually those roots ended up getting dug up. As those years went by until I got to college I look back now and see the impact of that first retreat I went on. That if I don’t set my roots into something that lasts, my roots will be dug up, those moments will have no lasting impact for what actually matters.
This semester I have been on a journey to bring Jesus into everything in my life, redeeming and reconciling every part of my life and one of the things that came up for me was this constant struggle with what grace is. One of the most basic foundational beliefs of Christianity, and I struggle with it. Giving grace to others is easy for me, but to give it to myself? Am I allowed to do that? Am I allowed to accepts God’s grace? This semester I have been on a journey to have Jesus redefine and redeem how grace has impacted my life, and wow, those roots do run deep, those moments do hold an impact.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”Hebrews 4:14-16, ESV
This passage holds much more weight than I usually accredit it to have. I mean—this idea of having a personal relationship with the high priest has never been thought of. But to be pushed to ask God for the confidence to draw near to grace and receive mercy and find grace? That is some boldness (yes, I know I use that word a lot, but I like it), but definitely something that we need to strive to seek. In order to find grace, we need to recognize grace, in order to recognize grace we need to have a personal relationship with it. Constantly asking and seeking God in what His grace is. That to draw near to His throne brings us to a more deeply rooted understanding of grace in all moments.
It is time to take those big steps of understanding. God, I want to understand You. Your grace.Would You push me to my limits so that I would see who You are and understand grace. Would you redeem and redefine my relationship with grace.
My dwelling place, where I am safe
My refuge from the storm
Open my heart, to hear Your heart
To love You more and more
I won’t move
I’ll linger here with YouLinger, Gateway Worship
I’ve started listening to this song much more recently, and I have also started playing it on the piano a lot more. To truly sit and be with God and declare that “I will linger here with You,” no matter what.