Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just Say Yes: Practicing The Radical Where You Are

Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts has brought up the topic of the practice of Radical Christianity the past several weeks over at her blog, A Holy Experience.  As always her words stir up my soul and create a conversation within that brings me closer in my walk with Jesus.

I have morning meditation times that I have shared with my readers in the past.  I visualize going into the garden of my heart where I meet with Jesus, Father God and the Holy Spirit.  I describe these encounters as the Holy Spirit using my imagination to speak to me.

Recently I went into the garden while quietly meditating and Jesus came and took my hand and we started climbing a mountain path.  I looked down and I was wearing hiking boots which tells me from experience that this is going to require strength and determination. I also was carrying a backpack, which usually means that I am lugging some burdens around that I need to turn over to God.   Jesus held my hand and never let go as we climbed up high to an area where we could overlook a beautiful meadow below. I noticed the backpack did not feel heavy, but when we got to the resting place I took it off expecting to let it go.  Instead I sat down and leaned against the backpack using it as a cushion for my body. 

I turned to Jesus and asked him what was in this backpack while opening it myself.  I took out a Bible, and then saw the faces of three Biblical teachers I listen to.  There are actually around seven  I connect to consistently online, but only three were there.  I knew that my Bible and these three teachers were giving me just what I needed to lean on, to rest in, and to learn from. Solid Biblical teaching.  Questions I had were being answered during this quiet time.  Jesus and I sat there awhile longer taking in the beautiful views before heading back.

This past year our lives have changed drastically with my husband Joel's overnight healing.  I bring it up often as it completely shifted our thinking and brought us down a different path that runs parallel to our 44 years together in love and ministry.  This new journey has enhanced, deepened, and challenged us to move out of the beliefs of our long established faith.  Certainly as a Pastor and pastor's wife we had seen healing take place, but a major shift took place within just a few overnight hours a little more than a year ago when Joel was healed. These teachers I saw in the garden are part of that new journey.

We are in many ways practicing the radical in what we believe now on healing.  Physical healing through spiritual means. We have struggled with feeling like a fish out of water and the struggled at times with the doubts that our family and friends have expressed. Yet, we know what we know what we know.  We cannot go back.  How can we go back when my sweet husband was healing overnight from Lyme Disease, CFS, Arthritis, Pre-Parkinson's from Lyme, and thyroid disease.   How can we go back when we have watched him go from being on disability to living a full life in ministry once again.  How can we go back when he can speak to his "mountains' and have the sleep apnea and eye disease be gone, too.  G.o.n.e.    How can we go back when I am no longer fighting Lyme Disease but able to be out and about, no longer continually home bound, but experiencing life as "normal" people do. 

How can we be anything but radical Christians when we have experienced the healing power of our Lord Jesus...the same power that lives within us and raised Jesus from the dead.

How can we do anything but practice the radical right where we are.  God took us to another playing field and we are beyond grateful. In our autumn years God has said, "I am not finished with you yet."
 Let me shower you with a "radical love.  I have so much more for you....just say yes to practicing the radical Christianity that you find in my Word.  Just say yes. to the plans I have laid out for you.  Just say yes.

I am linking up with Ann.......


Kim said...

Renee, I know you've shared this with me several times and I don't know if I've ever told you how much I do believe your experience and know it to be true. Sometimes I question the life changing experience that I had with Jesus. As it gets further away, it's easier to doubt and wonder if it was in my mind. But you are so right - you know what you know what you know. Don't let time or anyone else's doubts take that from you. Hang tight to that miracle He did and keep telling others! You are reminding us that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts and His abilities are far beyond anything we could ask or imagine. I'm wanting this kind of radical faith and I'm wanting this kind of healing for so many I know. Thank you for your story!

Gayle said...

I also enjoy these post where you share your visits with Jesus. Have you ever read the book Hinds Feet on High Places? This reminds me so much of your visits. Life itself is radical and requires a radical faith!