The other day I was journaling, pressing in to discover the source of a general feeling of heaviness, an unnamed restlessness. My investigative journalism yielded a word: restricted. I felt these forces binding me, holding back the expression of my true self.
My body, usually cooperative with my style and pace of life, has been taken over. I am five months pregnant, which has meant the customary changes in the image before me in the mirror. This alone is challenging some days, but this pregnancy has also meant pain. Because of instability in my joints, this girl on the go can barely walk at times. Restricted.
I love to be outside. I love to hike and explore quiet, set-apart places. I love to chase my boys through parks and take them on excursions along creeks. I hate winter. Especially with this year’s artic temperatures, the walls of my home feel as though they are cutting me off from that which renews my soul. Restricted.
Clarity is a passion of mine. I fight for women to gain clarity in who they really are and who God really is. I strive for clarity in the operations of the ministry. I love to champion a clear vision and rally a team to carry it out. Clarity opens the gates for us to move freely. Ambiguity closes us in. So the many unanswered questions about my future feel like a heavy fog settled over my life. Restricted.
In exploring this with Jesus, it occurred to me how much reason He would have had to feel this way too. The God of the Universe restricted in human form. Yet, did He let it be His definition? Something that robbed Him of joy, that filled Him with resentment, or that drove Him to unrest? No! Jesus let these apparent restrictions be the glory of His Father!
What could be seen as restriction became a beautiful part of the Father’s redemption plan, became a mind-blowing act of Jesus’ submission, became the reason I am a saved and reborn in Him.
Restricted in body?
You are no longer your body dear one. In joining with Me, you are now spirit, one spirit with me (1 Corinthians 6:17). I was not the body that contained Me when I walked this earth. That body was merely a tool for Father, a temple to carry the presence of the Holy Spirit. Rejoice in how your temple is being used for Father’s glory! Rejoice even in its limitations, for there you are reminded that truly you are spirit. Let the lack point to the abundance of your Father.
Restricted by weather?
I delight in how you delight in the gift of my creation. Now let me show you unseen beauty in this cold and frozen world, even from the windows of your home. Let me reveal your abundance, highlighted by these bitter days. Would you know the depth of provision of your warm house if not for receiving its refuge from biting winds? Would you understand the fullness of this gift if you didn’t have to wring joy from its rooms? Let the obscured paths to your typical worship allow you to see more deeply the hidden glory of the Lord.
Restricted by ambiguity?
If you knew the fullness of my plans for you- one, you wouldn’t be able to handle it- but two, you would be tempted to focus on the plans on not on me. Experience the richness of intimacy in my daily direction, leadership, and provision. Rest that nothing is ambiguous or unknown to me. Let it be an adventure, a surprise.
Be the little girl whose Daddy is taking her on a special trip…
“Where are we going?” she asks excitedly.
“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise,” Daddy answers, eyes twinkling.
Let the anticipation build. Meditate on the goodness of your Daddy, how much He loves you, and let your mind fill with imaginations of the glory of His surprise unveiled. And then rejoice my dear, for your most extravagant imaginations and dreams will not touch it.