I tried to hide my tears in church that morning.
I’m not a crier usually. My husband’s eyes were bloodshot by the time our wedding ceremony was over from the abundance of tears he shed… but me?
Not because I wasn’t deeply moved. Plenty moves me to my core. I just have a habit of smiling and holding it together most of the time. Seventeen years later, both personalities have served our marriage well.
But that morning was different.
Truth? My eleven year old caught a glimpse of my profile as we continued in worship, and he was so concerned about me that he came home and cleaned my house and folded my laundry for the rest of the afternoon. That’s huge, you guys.
Completely, utterly undone.
I could say it a million ways. Paint beautiful work pictures or dance around the truth, proving myself positive and strong. But none of that does any good tonight. Simply put, my heart needed redirected back to its proper place, and my tears were a result of the Spirit’s work in me. It was ugly, messy and beautiful all wrapped up in one.
I once again ended up at the foot of the cross.
“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe…”
Oh, how my heart needed to sing.
We sang words that focused on everything opposite of this world. Words that offered up praise instead of destruction. Words that lifted high the name of Jesus instead of elevating man. Words that had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Him.
“Oh, praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead…”
A whole new identity. Life over death. Sweet deliverance once and for all.
Deliverance that – let’s face it – I have to daily revisit as the world’s stormy waves smack hard against me. Headlines scream of international tragedy and national chaos, and our hearts scream of injustices even closer to home. And dare we admit, while the waves are bruising our backsides day in and day out, much of the time it feels like deliverance is too far out of our reach.
But in case you haven’t heard, the world isn’t winning…
“Your name is higher than the rising sun…”
“Hallelujah, name above all…”
“We exalt You…”
And yet so often we spend more time exalting an earthy identity that will only fade away…
Chapter 7 begins with Esther walking the tightrope between two identities: the one the king had always known, and the one he was about to find out. Each had its battling pros and cons; moments of comfort, security and clarity depending on the day… but ultimately there was only one identity that would bring real, lasting freedom.
The time had come for Esther to come clean. It was time for her true identity to become her deliverance.
We teeter too, don’t we? Between the world and who we are in Christ, and sometimes it takes hard times and a revisit to the foot of the cross to remember where our true identity lies.
At the foot of the cross we meet unexpected, scandalous grace, and it’s only there where our true identity can be found.
I closed my eyes and sang some more.
No longer just words on a screen, but now life-giving words that sunk deep into my soul. Words that cleansed deep spaces; words that brought hope and healing to the war going on around me and deep down inside of me. And I let the tears fall freely. No longer tears of despair, but tears of great hope and freedom because I was reminded to Whom I belong. And listen right now, those waves don’t have anything on Him.
The battle rages on all around us, but sweet child of God…
“It is well…”
Has it been too long since you visited the foot of the cross? Drop to your knees in His grace today, and let your deliverance begin…
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
~ Joshua 1:9
At His feet,
*LET’S TALK: Would you be willing to share your stories of how you met Jesus in the comments section today? Because it’s always good to revisit – and rejoice – over our deliverance…