I love this hike. The last time I was here was so incredibly beautiful. As I was getting my thoughts together, the last time I was here actually popped up in my facebook memories. The leaves that day were so full of color and the waterfall was flowing. When I realized a work trip would bring us close to here, a couple coworkers and I decided to drive down early in hopes of stunning beauty and refreshment from the Lord. As the trip grew closer, we realized the weekend would be rainy and most of the leaves probably gone. The hike proved exactly that. There were hardly any leaves, it was cloudy, wet, and an almost dry waterfall. I attempted to shift my perspective to the incredible rock formations and the reminders in the blessings of rain, especially autumn rains (James 5:7). And there are so many references to “rock” in the Bible. I can’t deny my disappointment though. A friend captured this image of me staring at the almost non-existent waterfall. I decided to take a plunge in the frigid water. Also captured on camera but not sharable haha.
There is absolutely no way to free and cleanse our hearts from the past. It isn’t in our power. We must bring those moments to Jesus. There isn’t a sinless one among us. Without Jesus we can't do anything good. We are filthy rags. (Romans 3:10-12 & Isaiah 64:6). Those words I identify with. It's much easier for me to identify with filthy rags rather than daughter of a king. It's sometimes easier to live as a slave than in freedom. The transition into beauty and freedom promised is one that I struggle with. I know the Bible says we are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). Sons and daughters of the king (2 Cor 6:18). I know I’m an heir, but life has not always exactly felt that way. I know I can’t bring anything of value. But I also know the Bible says I'm incredibly valuable in Jesus. He paid his life to prove it (John 10:18). I was created in God's image (Genesis 1:27). What does it look like to truly walk towards what we’ve been given in Jesus? Have you ever asked that question? What does it look like to be a son or daughter of the King today? How do I remind my heart I am chosen in spite of circumstances? How do I feel this in my core? What does it look like to be a daughter of the King in a world crammed full of confusion, pain, and chaos? What does it mean to walk towards His promises (2 Cor 3:17)? I don't want to miss out on anything. What does it look like to be fearless warriors like Joshua and Caleb and step into something I've already been given but maybe never experienced before? A couple of weeks ago I asked the Lord those very questions.
I don’t have a complete answer to those questions yet. What I do know is the night after I prayed those words, a friend who works in prison ministry shared with me a message she felt the women of the prisons needed to hear. She had no idea what I had asked the Lord the night before. Those women in prison were not filthy rags. They were daughters of the King and she proceeded to provide scriptural proof. I was blown away. I knew He had heard my prayer. I knew He was using a friend to unknowingly speak the encouragement and reminders I needed from his Father heart. I asked the Lord to set me free from those filthy rag thoughts that sometimes held my heart captive. Back to Isaiah 61. (See previous entry if interested) But the Lord didn't stop there. He is such an incredible Father.
After the plunge in the water, the sun came out. It was soft and beautiful. I love the sunshine. The Lord had reminded me of the gift in sunshine days before. I felt the Lord say I’ve got you. Keep walking into my promises. My friends also were given words from the Lord. He is such an individual God. That night we met up with the rest of my work crew. We were each gifted journals. They were so incredibly personal to each individual. I don’t know if I will ever write in it more than what I wrote on the first page. The beautiful soul that put them together only knew a few details about us but we were told these journals were prayerfully pieced together. I guarantee you she had no idea a couple of weeks ago I asked the Lord to show me what it looked like to be a daughter of the King. I still don’t know how that plays out in my life, but I do know the unique theme of my journal was “daughter” and "beauty". Just about every page had something about a daughter or an heir on it. My "miracle" song lyrics were on the very first page. The details on every page were so personal and unique. How in the world? Only God. He is a God who sees.
Just the first two pages...
Tucked in the last page of my journal…Your crown has been paid for. All you have to do is put it on. Joshua and Caleb again came to mind. The promised land. They were given an inheritance. Joshua and Caleb were willing to trust and step into what was promised. The other men were not and the other men missed out on their inheritance. I know the Lord is so good and I trust Him. I don’t want to miss out on experiencing the fullness of what He has promised because I walk in fear or because I long for security found in "Egypt". A clip from one of my favorite scenes of “The Chosen”…He sees you. He hears you…I know I’ve been invited into redemption. I know you have too. Let Him pull you out of your blindness. Let Him remove the filthy rags (Zech 3). Plunge into His goodness. Let Him lead you into promises of His rest (Matt 11:28-30) regardless of what the world may look like around you. He is faithful. He loves you so very much. Trust Him. You are no longer a slave to fear, you are a child of God. I pray that if you are struggling with being His child, He steps in and reminds you in an amazingly beautiful way that you are His. He did just that for me. He will do that for you too. Talk to Him.
One of my favorite songs. (Zach Williams - No Longer Slaves)