I am a prophet. I inhabit the future, to an off-the-scale degree. My grasp of the present is more...tenuous. But Jo has gone away on TOM business until Saturday night, and I must run the house and look after the children without her for these three days. In the present. A lot of people wouldn’t understand why that should be a big deal, but for me it is. In fact, that is why Jo and I complement one another so well, why we make such a great team. She helps to earth the stories I report back from the future, so others can grasp it.
So this is a very vulnerable place for me. A place where I experience a tearing – even if it is not the place where someone else would experience a tearing. And the place of tearing is the place where a testimony is spoken over us, if we will hear it. The voice that I heard as Jo drove away said, I AM.
God is described as the One who was, and is, and is to come: past, present, and future (future: the place I inhabit, my own Narnia). But God describes himself as I AM: present, continuous. Always in the present.
The territory that I need to settle is that God is with me, here, in the present. And the way in which that territory will be settled is by resting in the word I heard spoken...
by allowing the testimony to sit with me (Jesus is described as the Word; and also as one who stands at the door of our heart knocking, in order to sit and eat with anyone who lets him in)...
by allowing the word to envelop me, as the trunk of a vine envelops the pruned-back branch, from which place the branch will grow out again, stronger, bearing more fruit (this is how Jesus describes the rhythm of the relationship we have with him – abide, grow, bear fruit, be pruned – in John 15, drawing his illustration from the great gold vine on the front of the Temple; this rhythm is expressed in the Rule of The Order of Mission).
It will take time, and it will require of me that I make the space for that testimony to sink in,
to shape me,
to invite me to experience God in the present, strengthening me,
and challenging me to do the things that need to be done in his strength not my own.
And once it has done that work, I need to live it out. And to set up a marker stone that says: in this place, I met God who is I AM.
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