Wonder by Hillsong United
Have you ever seen the wonder in the glimmer of first sight
As the eyes begin to open and the blindness meets the light?
If you have so say –
I see the world in light, I see the world in wonder, I see the world in life,
bursting in living colour. I see the world your way and I’m walking in the light
Have you ever seen the wonder in the air of second life,
having come out of the waters with the old one left behind?
If you have so say –
I see the world in light, I see the world in wonder, I see the world in life
Bursting in living colour. I see the world Your way and I’m walking in the light.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately, praying and listening, to be honest, about the process one encounters coming to Redemption. I don’t mean salvation. That’s a different type of Redemption; accurate, but different. What I mean is what I call the 3R’s of addiction: Recovery, Restoration & Redemption. I’ve been trying for several years now, before I knew God had a ministry in store for me, to figure out the “silver bullet,” the “magic pill” or the “secret sauce” for achieving the Redemption I’ve been given. Redeeming the years the “locusts” (addiction) ate. Asking “Why me?” but in a good way. Why me and how does it translate to the men God brings my way?
I began thinking of Saul becoming Paul and what I thought I knew about his conversion and then God played “Wonder” on my music station. The words leapt out at me and Paul filled my heart. I did a little research this week on Paul’s conversion and it is apparently not as cut and dried as I thought. There is a lot about the three years after his Road to Damascus conversation with Jesus and his return to Jerusalem that isn’t settled by scholars and there are lots of opinions. I don’t intend to tread where much better scholars than I find shifting sands. Two things stood out to me in the little research I did – and yes, I know, these, too, could be debated and I could be incorrect. But they seem to stand on their own: 1) Paul immediately began talking about what Jesus had done for him and who He is, and 2) he didn’t seem to become the Paul we know, the great orator, until after he spent time, and traveled, with Barnabas.
I believe that Paul spent those three years telling everyone about his deliverance. He had to. How could he not? But I also believe he spent those years dealing with his personal demons. I believe Paul was healed and saved and experienced a miracle on the Road to Damascus but his inner demons, his doubts, his personal foibles, were left intact for him, his Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit to work through.
WHY? The same reason Lynn and I believe I received a miracle. When Bill Perkins laid his hands on my head after our Freedom Session and prayed for my brain to be healed, for my desire for pornography to be removed, we believe a miracle occurred. There were no fireworks, no bells, no whistles, no outward displays of Godly Glory. My Father knew that is what I craved – the attention, the story, the limelight. So, He quietly removed that faulty desire with no pomp nor circumstance. But, in my opinion, like Paul, He left the lying, the trust issues (with man, Lynn & God), the regrets, the sorrows, the traumas, for me to struggle through.
In His infinite wisdom He left them, so I could learn to take His Hand, see His Heart, know His Path, trust His Voice and step out … simply because He asks me to. He left them so I would reach out to other men and for the first time in my 57 years have friends who knew the worst and loved me still. He left them so I would learn to see my Beloved Lynn with His Eyes of Truth as the scales fell from my eyes as they did Paul’s.
WHY? Because as hard as it sounds, with the only comfort to offer, there is Godly benefit in the struggle. There is growth in the storm. There is no fear in the darkness – when we hold His Hand as we walk through it. Humans, especially addicts, do not change when we’re comfortable. That’s why He didn’t take all my issues away. That’s what I believe Paul did for three years. That’s when I believe God did His best miracles in Paul, me and in you.
I’ve stopped looking for the ‘magic.’ I found it in the struggle. I found my Father, my Brother and my Comforter, in the storm. Now they, and Lynn, hold my hand and together, we celebrate REDEMPTION.
Freedom is a gift from God. It is also His Promise; and He ALWAYS keeps His Promises.