Luke 4: 18, The Message
“God`s Spirit is on me; He`s chosen me to … set the burdened and battered free.”
I was recently at Ellel Grange, and during a break on a healing retreat I went for a walk by the canal. It was a warm and sunny afternoon for a change in the damp and cloudy ‘summer’ we were experiencing, and I was enjoying the scenery all around me.
Then I noticed there were some beautiful white water lilies growing on the water. The canal is filthy and muddy, and I thought about the struggle that flower had had to push its way up to the surface. As I looked the Lord began to speak to me, as He often does through His wonderful creation.
I felt He was saying, “There are many people whose lives are like the roots of the water lily, buried deep in mud and slime, but look what I can do for them. That water lily is pure white and perfect in shape. I can make broken lives whole again.”
God was reminding me of what I’ve learned so often in the past: that He’s in the restoration business. I’ve seen so many deeply broken lives turned around and made new, and I know it’s His desire and delight to see His children whole again.
It may be a big struggle as we fight our way up towards the light from the muddy depths, and it may take some time, but He’s there, calling us towards Him. As we come to Him with open hearts, prepared to walk His way and do the things He asks of us, in His love and gentleness He will gradually change us and make us whole again.
He asks us to forgive those who’ve hurt us, and to confess the things which we’ve done (maybe to protect ourselves from hurt) which aren’t godly. The process may seem slow sometimes, but He wants us to learn to walk in each new phase of our growth, and He knows that sudden change may be damaging for us. It’s rather like my little great niece, who, when she was learning to walk, reached up and trustfully put her little hand in mine. We need to reach up and put our hands in the hand of Jesus, and He will lead us on.