Dancing in the Kingdom

Kingdom dance header - that I like better

I sat on the edge of the bridge, legs swinging over the mountain stream, too weary to cry. Today was not like yesterday, full of promise and a tangible view of God working great things out in my life. No, today threw our family another hard curveball instead. 

My husband injured himself on a mountain bike ride. Badly this time. And I desperately wanted to be compassionate and helpful, but all I felt was seriously overwhelmed and disappointed. Summer had just begun, and I took two months off from the book launch to learn to balance work and family better as God had asked me to. I wanted that to look like camping on the weekends. Fun mountain bike date nights. Adventures in the mountains. All the things that our family loves to do. 

I felt like I needed these joy-filled summer days. Still struggling through the fear of failure and self-doubt at both my new job and the publishing of my first book, I needed the reprieve from striving and questioning. 

It felt like a devastating blow. I did not need another hard thing. I was weary, bone-tired of the constant rollercoaster that seemed to be my life.  

The prior day we had gone back to in-person church after months of being only online due to the COVID-19 shutdown. We met outside on a ranch that is used as a wedding venue on a warm June evening in Southwest Colorado. In an open meadow, surrounded on one side with red rocky cliffs, laced with green shrubbery so thick it looked like strips of shaggy green carpet laying on the tops of rocks, we brought our camp chairs and blankets and gathered to worship our God. Being together again, seeing and hugging people, our friends, and neighbors, lifting our hands in worship together was amazing. It was simply life-giving. An answered prayer. Certainly, a miracle that God had been working ahead of us for our good for months.  

Plus, our pastor, who I had just finished my book referenced how much it impacted him during the sermon and two people asked me for it after the service. Somehow, in my God-ordained break, the message He had pressed on my heart was getting out without me lifting a single finger. Another miracle. 

It was such a great day, followed by such a hard day. 

Reflecting on these opposing days, Jesus reminded me of a scripture I had read the day before. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

Jesus is telling us that this good with the bad is what the kingdom is really like. When we choose to follow God’s call on our life and work for the kingdom, the enemy goes to work against us. He plants weeds in our fields all around our good seed. He wants us to rip out the good seed God gave up in despair, destroying the harvest. Then he turns around after planting the weeds and whispers in your ear, doubt-filled questions to get you to doubt God. He is a scheming enemy, after all.

I know you feel this tension. We all do. But we can overcome this destructive scheme by exercising the power within us - faith given by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit- to see beyond our circumstances. By trusting in God's goodness to work out all things, even when we cannot see anything as good, we exercise our faith. When we allow good to grow amongst the hard things without giving in, we throw out the lies that tempt us to believe we are not the called and equipped daughters of the King, and trample the enemy's plan to destroy our calling. Simply put, we win! 

Feet still dangling over the creek, this truth washed peace over my anxious heart. The hardship was not gone, it would still be there when I got back but was reminded I wasn't going to face it alone. God would take the brokenness and work it into something good. I may not see it soon, or even on this side of heaven, but it would surely come to pass because that is what He does. 

With a smirk, I thought about a corporate saying we often utter – “one step, forward two steps back, right God?” And out of my spirit, I heard God say with the same smile back, “Yes, this is the Kingdom dance, my darling. Will you dance with me?”

Oh yes, I will. Amen. 

Let's Pray: 

Father, you know that this broken world is filled with good days and hard days. You know sometimes it feels like the hard ones are just too much. But you have overcome the world! Help us to lean into you in the hard days and open the eyes of our spirit to see past our circumstances. With the power of the Spirit living inside of us, help us to see your goodness and promise to work out all things. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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