God is Up to Something Great
“We are not our problems. We are not our wounds. We are not our sins. We are persons of radical worth and unrevealed beauty. If we face ourselves fully, we will be broken by what we see, by the selfishness and fear and rage and lust that cover our spiritual beauty like tarnish on silver. But the silver is there. Something brilliant and intact gleams through the stain of our brokenness.” ~ Larry Crabb
I see everything in light of redemption and restoration. God is at work in every situation to reveal Himself, and to restore our relationships with Him and everyone else in our lives. All sin causes emotional, physical and relational damage. Until we understand our own sin, and are willing to allow the Spirit of God to do a redeeming work in us, we will only view restoration at a distance.
All Consuming Fire was written in the context of God’s redeeming work in me. As a new believer (1972), it was easy to discontinue overt sins that are taboo in the Christian community, to serve on a church staff without transformation (1999), and to become self-righteous in my service for God yet to remain relationally distant from Him. After attending Larry Crabb’s School of Spiritual Direction (2006), God began a deconstruction work in my heart, revealing deep, motivational sins, most of which were just below the surface. A season of deep conviction was followed by repentance, and God has and continues to do amazing restoration in my life; in my inner world (scarred by early emotional wounds), marriage, ministry,and in physical healing (I have MS). The process isn’t over. I am not sinless, but I believe that God is doing a work in me that is allowing me to respond more like Jesus would respond.
While my story is not overtly revealed in All Consuming Fire, it is revealed in both the commentary and questions I ask. The questions come from the work of the Spirit–He has asked me many of these questions in the secret places of my soul.
All Consuming Fire was written over a two year span of internal work and teaching in the local church. I went on a media fast for a year of that time; no TV, radio or news. It was a concentrated time of being able to hear God through His Word and through the Spirit. It was a rich but difficult time. When the final file was ready to be sent to the publisher, I had two discs rupture in my neck, and two weeks after surgery my husband was hospitalized with blood clots on his lungs. He lived, but is now home on permanent disability. It was an intense time of suffering, yet God was up to something great. He would test me to see if the words I had written would hold up under fire. He would also teach me that, even in intense pain, He is enough. God strengthened my resolve to believe in His goodness even when the enemy puts His goodness into question.
God is always up to something, and it is always good! I praise Him for His work in my life, and for what I can share with others about His redemption and restoration process. To the Triune God be all praise and glory and honor!