You can only walk so far with the limp of independance- because the good leg is in Jesus and the injured leg keeps dragging you back to the belief that you can be self sufficient in all things. There comes a point in every believers life when we have to trust God with our greatest failings, deepest hurts and the desires of our heart. THAT is just not easy if you’ve ever been wounded by anyone or even self-inflicted some pain along the way.
My journey in trust began when I visited a place in the mountains of Colorado a few years back. It’s a beautiful place called The Upper Room and as many times as I’ve been there since, God has ALWAYS met me in remarkable ways. This particular visit happened to be my first however, so I had no idea what to expect. I was told the Lion of Judah tended to find His way to the den, so that’s where I decided to wait and see if I could spot Him.
On my second morning, coffee in hand, quiet music playing, a breeze blowing gently off of a cool mountain lake through the screened window, I closed my eyes and began to rock in the chair. With the image of the Lion of Judah showing up to pounce on me as His prey, I was uneasy and yet, at peace. So I just blurted out a question to start the conversation because obviously lions can’t talk- “You know what I don’t get Jesus? I don’t get how you are BOTH the Lion and the Lamb” and He said, “go on…” I began to explain to Him how I fully believed that He is the Lion. He is mighty and powerful and fierce. He is the God who created the universe and the God of Job who did and does all of those wonderfully powerful things like telling the waves to stop and go no farther. I get His power, and frankly it scares me A-LOT. But, I also see how He’s the Lamb. How He is gentle and a comforter. How He was sacrificed and meek and all of those lamby things He is and does. But I DID NOT get how He could be BOTH at the same time.
And then it came to the surface. See, I had scars that came about in unspeakable ways. For years, I never told anyone, except maybe a handful of people – if that handful was a closed fist with only 2 fingers showing. I certainly never reached out for help. This is the extent of what I’ll say about it here, except to say, the wounds underneath those scars were NOT healed, and were festering and infecting my life. With tear filled eyes and an exposed and failing aorta, I confessed to my Christ that I didn’t know how or if I could trust Him. Because honestly, there had never been ANYONE in my life who had been both strong and powerful and also meek and tender; NO ONE I could trust with being my protector and to love me deep enough to know where my brokenness lived.
That is when He showed me Himself, as The Lion of Judah. He was this majestic Lion. Absolutely the most powerful, magnificent creature I have ever seen. So strong and so stunning. He was King and there was no doubt about it. He was laying down in an easy, restful manner with His head upright. And then I saw me- in my brokenness. Curled up in the fetal position between His front paws, tucked safely in next to His chest. What I saw next rocked my life. He began licking my wounds.
All I can say is that I have never felt so safe. His tenderness as my Healer, seemed to wash His comfort to my core. He cared for me with gentle ease. He knew EXACTLY where I hurt, where I was broken, where and how I desperately needed to be redeemed. All the while, He remained the Lion, He became the Lamb, and He was BOTH, at the same time. He did not compromise the strength of who He was as Lion to become the meekness of the Lamb. It was breathtaking and I was healed as I surrendered and trusted and was known by Him.
A few more years went by and many things changed in my life. Time after time He asked me to trust Him with things He wanted me to surrender. I’ve written about those in earlier posts. Some things He healed and gave back, other things He removed from my life. I grew in Him and learned to trust and love Him and I let Him continue to heal and love me back. I returned to the Upper Room where I again, met my Lamb of Judah. I asked Him to show me where I was in my healing. He is faithful. What He showed me this time was Himself as the Lion, again in that same position (He NEVER changes). But I had changed. I was no longer in the fetal position. This time I was more upright. Like a child when they are sitting on their daddy’s lap. I was still between His front paws, but I was leaning back against Him with my ear to His chest. I could hear His heartbeat and I was timing my breathing to His, like I used to do when I was a little girl and would sit in the chair with my own Daddy and lay my head on his chest.
This is where the story ends, except for the glimpse of my future self. I don’t have the details, but I was riding bareback on the Lion as He was running full force and I had my hands in the air and I was FREE. I cannot wait for that great day. His promises are true.
Well, it almost ends there… sometimes when my ear is to His chest and I’m breathing with Him, I hear a call to prayer for certain people straight from His heart. I respond in obedience to that heartbeat by calling or texting or writing a prayer for them and letting them know God called me to pray for them. On one recent occasion, I helped a friend through a bit of a rough time that He showed me was coming her way, and He called me to love her through it. In response, I shared a bit of my story with her, and in His grace through her gift, she returned His love to me by painting my healing. I don’t have too many treasures on earth, but this one, I count as worthy. It’s called “The Lion of Judah will never let her go”. I stare at it and get lost in Him and His endless depth. When I find myself restless or sad or compromising, I return to the Lion/Lamb and lay my head on His chest, and I listen to His heartbeat and time my breathing to I AM-Who I AM. I AM BOTH- Lion and Lamb- and I will NEVER let you go. Amen.