Friday, June 14, 2013


I ran away one day a few months ago.  I dropped the boy off at school and then drove around aimlessly for a few hours, turning at any old crossroads, not caring where I went, just not wanting to be where I was.  

I’d been in the desert all year.  The dry bones desert.  But on this day, I ended up in front of a little white clapboard oasis, the Dogwood Baptist Church.  Surely there was water there, for the sign out front said through Christ we already have victory for every challenge that we face.

Every challenge.  Every.  Challenge.

I wonder a lot what victory in Jesus looks like in the day to day stuff of life.  Because, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t always see it.  I guess it’s my attitude, but it seems like I spend more time than not feeling frustrated and hurt.  

I sat in a Bible study once, several years ago, and listened to a woman explain how she always prays for a good parking space when she goes shopping.  And she always gets one.  Really?  A parking space is your victory story?  Mine’s a little deeper than that.

I resent pollyanna Christianity.  You can't polish up victory like it's a lucky penny.  Jesus is not that cheap.  Not my Jesus.

My Jesus is real.  My Jesus has tangled hair and dusty feet and the rough hewn hands of a carpenter.  He is sweat and heat.  Salt and light.  Muscle and sinew.  

He walks beside me every tired step of this desert journey. 




He KNOWS.  He suffered it all and yet comes back to walk the parched sand with me.  He carries the cross again and again, up the long road to the place of the skull.  Carries it for me.  And for you.

I am poured out like water, 
(indeed the spirit of God lives in me)
and all my bones are out of joint;
(governed by the Spirit, I yield to you)
my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
(He who searches my heart knows the mind of the Spirit)
my strength is dried up like a potsherd, 
(I am weakened by the flesh)
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; 
(intercede for me, Holy Spirit)
you lay me in the dust of death.
(we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered)
Psalm 22: 14-15, Romans 8

The victory is that we are not ever-confined to a parking space.  In fact we are not parked here at all, only passing through.  Do not confine God to that small space.  If you do, you will miss the vastness of the One who was and is and is to come.

And that day to day victory- what is it?  Simply manna.  The stuff of life to sustain us in the desert.  But the real victory, the milk and honey victory, is that He loves us enough to walk us home.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
 neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor 
depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from 
the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.       
Romans 8:38-39