“My grace is sufficient.” His words are easier when you think that grace is provision of a sunny disposition in a land of Sunday School rainbows. His words become an ocean of razor mountains, ready to filet and swallow you when you really understand what He’s asking. His words are a fire so white no one can even think of them without it burning through their costume of flesh.
God asks some of us to go beyond what our right minds can handle. Sometimes He will tell a person to do something that He has told everyone else not to do. This isn’t really something that can be understood by a person who lives for themselves. Only a person who has completely given themselves away can understand that what is asked of them is not always what it looks like. There can be no part of you clinging on to your own ideas or traditions.
Self perverts the truth. Self abuses the sacred. He calls them out and separates them from the pack. He turns them loose in the wilderness and lets the dark hunt and haunt them for a while. When they emerge on the other side, they’re no longer connected to humanity the way they were before. The terror in their journey ripped out their eyes and only then did they learn to see. The cackling echos of scream and accusation gouged their ability to hear, and only then did they learn to hear. They emerge from the wilderness and return untied.
God told Balaam to go somewhere that was ‘forbidden’. Remember the story about Balaam’s donkey talking to him? Balaam was doing what God told him to do and an angel stood like a road block on the path and the donkey would not pass him. The angel called Balaam’s journey ‘perverse’ and said that God was angry. But…God told him to go. It made no sense. A donkey spoke, Balaam was a mess, and the angel ended the conversation by telling Balaam to continue the journey. Balaam had a job to do and he had to follow God’s lead as closely as possible because he was where he shouldn’t have been. (read Numbers 22) God told Balaam to go on a trip where he was invited to curse God’s people, but when he got there, God used him to bless them. (read Numbers 23 to find out how.)
God’s grace is sufficient. You don’t get to pick your terms and sometimes this journey feels backward and forward at the same time. When you have to rely on grace, it’s a hard walk of faith to travel the territories run by a force working against you. But who can be against you when God is for you? People will look at your journey and wonder why you’re traveling there, why you’re keeping company with the other side. They’ll discredit you, slander you, and try to stop you all the while thinking they’re doing God a favor.
Stories of grace are confusing to those who have not grown in grace. They are confusing because they’re messy and the only bridge between right and wrong, between sin and grace, is Jesus. He is the only explanation for your salvation and sometimes that is not enough for those who can only see the outside.
To those who have been through the dark, they can see. For those who know what hell sounds like, they can hear.
If you are in a place of being torn down and your journey in grace attacked, find comfort in this. He’s not going to let you wander off. Grace doesn’t always make sense, even to the one receiving it. But you have to believe before you can see. Even if your path is crooked and full of your own mistakes:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6