Monday, November 10, 2014

2014 // The Year He Named Me

He led me up the mountain. To Uganda we walked, gentle Shepherd’s hand wrapped around mine.

We journeyed through a desert called Loneliness. Tears running down my face, the walk was long and silent. No soundtrack, only His sweet whispers carrying me along. I didn’t know Jesus to be my friend until those days in that weary land. I was lonely, but I was never alone.

Flowers pushed their way up through that sun-baked ground. The earth cracked and blooms overtook death. Fifty pregnant bellies showed up for Bible study, salvation dawned. We swaddled babies, and we walked out of that desert and into a meadow of rejoicing. Silence was broken with songs of “Webale Jesu” Thank you Jesus.

He taught me to sing again.

We had crossed the border of Loneliness, entering a new land. Still walking up the mountain, day after day. I was somehow not tired, not collapsing under the weight of this load. I wondered at this, because I knew I was anything but strong.

“Father, who do you call me? Who do you say I am?” I asked Him as we walked along.

I waited long for His reply.

Miles we walked, and nothing. I wanted a name. Silence. I kept squeezing His hand, begging like a child asking for sweets at the supermarket.

We stopped for a rest, the Sabbath, He always called it. And right there He sung over me.

“To the One Who Conquers,” He said. 

& how shall we conquer? 

We sat in front of an enormous canvas and I watched as He painted. A lion, deep eyes, piercing through the confines of the canvas and into reality. Lion's gaze meeting mine. I watched the Great Artist complete His masterpiece with, not a lion’s mane, but flowers. Flowers upon flowers, all around the wild face.

With fierce meekness.

By gracious tempest, love avalanche, poverty of Spirit. 

This is how we conquer.

He turned to me, lifted up His hand to touch my face. And written on His nail-scarred palm was my name.

To Natalie, the One Who Conquers…

I will grant her to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

I will grant her to sit with me on my throne.

She will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot her name out of the book of life.

Only hold fast what you have until I come.

(Revelation 2:7, 3:21, 3:5, 2:25)

He spun me around, and we looked back. Down the mountain, my eyes were opened to the journey we had made. It was then I saw. I was weak, but He was strong. He carried me up the mountain, all the way here, to name me.

I am the One Who Conquers because The Lion of Judah already has.