“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
My bones are dry and brittle in a place where I guess I should be thriving. I sit in the muscle-bound restraints of anxiety. It is an anxiety strapped and tangled in an intimate fight for faith behind closed doors, compounded by the mental struggle of finding myself in a faction of Christianity that demands right theology and a striving for perfection from an imperfect, stumbling follower of Christ seeking to honor her devotion to her Savior at the altar of redemption.
It is a strange thing to be raised in the enlightenment of the charismatic embrace of the Holy Spirit, navigating the rising tides of great spiritual awakening, incredible openness and forgiveness and faith—followed by occasional low plummets to depths of spiritual abuses—to then find freedom and joy in the solid ground of tradition and in the submission to and the feast of the knowledge and right understanding of God’s Word, only to long—to thirst and hunger and pine for—the healing and refreshing waves of the charismatic expression once again.
The Word and His Spirit are one.
My mind—now drenched in His Word and more deeply rooted in the confidence that we can know a right truth found in a perfect scripture—calls down to my heart and across the stretched and exhausted tendons in my body and cries out for childlike expressive worship and to make room in my rationalizing mind for the Spirit to move as He pleases in my humble life.
Oh, Holy Spirit, I invite your active presence. I’ve seen it. I know it. Lord, come.
I feel the tension of being a limited human being and living in the divergence of the worldwide faith in Christ—each faction seeking to follow a Savior as best they know how and as best they can interpret, with the help of a Holy Helper.
Oh, how He loves the church—His bride.
But if the movement of the Lord depends on the rightness of my own humble theology, then I don’t stand a chance. So I stand before my God without a denomination on my name tag, just the name of a flawed human longing to know and follow and be led by the Shepherd in Word and Spirit and a great passion for the Church, His beloved bride.
Jesus, draw near.
I am too small and insignificant to eat up too much time gazing at others with eyes of curiosity, evaluation and measurement in the name of ‘discernment.’ My place is on my knees with eyes fixed upon the crook of the Shepherd who is leading us all in His narrow path. And there, I ask the Holy Spirit to train my eyes to stay.
And now I open my heart with an invitation to the Father to lead me in tradition and prayer, in study of the Word, in depths of creativity and the glory of His Spirit, in healing power and His joy to produce the miraculous. I will trust Him. He is a God that longs to be known— discovered both through experience and through study. Both in word and in action. And I will rest in the loving guidance of a Shepherd who leads His sheep to the springs of the water of life.
I will still my quiet self-righteous wrestling, that I may experience the righteous saving power of our great Lord and Savior for all who call on His name.