In Him By Grace
Apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5), that in Him and only Him I shall boast, that I can hold, in highest regard, His grace at all times.
This is what I have confessed. So, it came the time when I encountered His grace once again. It was through a difficult and very distressing time, which most people would call ‘post traumatic stress’. For over three months, I would experience what I could best describe as nightmares while awake. I know God was with me through all of that.
I could feel Him scoop me up every time
At its worst, I remember clinging to God with all of me, and though I don’t know why God allowed the struggles I went through, I could sense He would ‘scoop’ me up every time I could bear it no more. At the intensity of my own pain, as if all of the realms of goodness had left me, I would recite Mathew 10:28.
At the same time this was happening to me, I would see and hear about anyone’s pain and it would feel just as unbearable as the one I was experiencing, even though they didn’t seem to show it. But, just the thought of the existence of a similar or more intense pain than the one I felt, seemed impossible to endure. In the midst of all this, I would manage to recall that God’s grace is our protection and it's His Love that protects (Psalm 27:5 YLT). Then, I would find myself in a state of awe at the depths of God’s mercy and love for humanity, just as He let’s the sunshine on the good and the bad alike and sends rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45).
Knowing that God was with me, I asked Him, "Have I just become more aware of Your unmeasurable grace for all of us? How much more of your grace God do I still not recognise and appreciate in our midst?" Somehow, I knew the answer: there is so much more about His grace that I haven't yet recognised.
In Him we live, move and have our being
One time, shortly after what would be the last of those episodes, I tasted from another aspect of His abundant grace. I was in a three-hour encounter that ended up lifting every single one of these struggles! It began with all my senses being heightened, then with a non-audible voice I was told ‘what is already dead cannot be killed.' God had told me I was dead for the second time in less than 12 months with a resonance that vibrated through all my being! Then, He spoke again, ‘I have clothed you and put a dress on you’.
Simultaneously, I could sense I was inside the body of Jesus. My body seemed to be, literally, inside the middle of His chest. Then, a white dress was placed over His body — His righteousness (Matthew 28:3). Right then, I was reminded of Galatians 3:27, to be clothed with Christ, to put on Christ, not that I did anything to make it happen, He did it for me. My mind and heart began to be flooded with understanding of how when He saw me 'naked' He covered me with Himself. Which to me meant that He saw me first as He had made me, then as I was and as I am, yet all along He has called me worthy!
God called me worthy to make a covenant (Mark 14:24) with His sacrifice so that I could live and remain in Him forever (Gal 2:20, Hebrews 13:20), just as He desired from the beginning.
Through all of this, though I know it may not be much, I have come to rejoice more than ever in the full confidence we have in God and be hungry for more of the reality of what it means to be in Him — for in Him we live, move and exist (Acts 17:28).