We’re continuing our series on the creeping prosperity gospel. This week, we’re exploring “what God doesn’t promise.” Today’s post is written by D.L. Mayfield. When she agreed to write, she had no idea that a family tragedy was about to upend her life. I think it makes today’s piece more poignant. She also touches on themes similar to those explored yesterday by Joy’s. Don’t you love it when the Spirit leads people in similar paths? In any event, consider her words and join us in the comments as we work this out.
I had a vision, today, while I was lying on the floor and praying the baby would go to sleep. It was me, standing straight and tall, the wind whipping in my hair. I was in the middle of brown-gold fields, alone in the sea of the prairie save for my daughter’s hand tucked into my own. As I saw myself, standing still and proud, my heart began to break. I watched as a cloud, dark and dense, came and picked me up, both my daughter and me, and carried us away. And I started to cry, no longer caring if the baby woke up, because I knew what it meant.
Replace the desolate prairie with my desolate life; replace the grass with concrete, the blue sky for inner-city buildings. I feel so alone, right now, tragedies piling up on one another, far away from communities and families and even my husband for the moment. I have never felt so abandoned, in all my years.
But the cloud was coming, to take me away.
I volunteered to contribute something about this topic, on the goodness of God, on what he does and does not promise, several weeks ago. I had my ideas carefully laid out, my own answer for everything. In the space between those days, tragedy has struck my family. The kind that leaves you glassy-eyed and numb, walking through the days half-asleep. You get one phone call, it changes your life. You find yourself fearful to speak your prayers lest they do not get answered.
Jesus is coming, to this bleak field, and is carrying me away into himself. I thought this cloud, this being swallowed whole, would suffocate. I thought this cloud at first to be a tornado sent to rip me a part. I resisted, at first, wanting to stand alone in my desolation, to clutch tightly to what is known. But it turns out, this cloud is carrying me to safety, into a place where I finally can build up a fire within that originates from the eternal flame.
I am alone enough for the first time to be caught up in the love far greater than me and my world.
God doesn’t promise any way out of suffering, nor any way through life where we don’t come to this place. But what does He promise? A friend just prayed over me, and his words sunk in deep. Let her rest, he prayed, like Jesus did. How he slept like a baby in the midst of the storm, surrounded by wailing and moaning. Let us find moments of peace in this storm, let us dream and be carried away with Christ.
Friends, I need your help right now. What Scriptures has Christ given you in your desolate places? How have you experienced being caught up in his incarnation? Please share that we all may allow peace to enter into our dreams.
Post by D.L. Mayfield. Make sure to swing by her place today.