The Running Toward

The early hours. The rare moments when I can hide in the sunrise and soak in the quiet and wait on the Lord. Yes, the rare. And the raw and the rich.

When no one else is awake. When no one else is around. When no one else is asking for me.

It was in those early hours last Sunday.

I closed my eyes and I began to pray. Asking God to speak to my heart. Inviting Him into my early hours. He's already there, but I'm asking still. Opening my heart behind those eyelids. Asking to see a glimpse of the beautiful God who knows me and is deeply acquainted with my deepest mess and who sees me for who I am and loves me the same.

And a picture filled in the space behind my eyelids. Simple and childish. It was a man with balloons. A fistful of strings in his hand, connected to bursting colors. So many balloons.

I tried to shake it off. 

God, I can picture something better than that, can't I?

I squeezed my eyes more tightly and tried to get rid of the man. I worked to conjure up an image of anything else. Surely I could imagine something more sophisticated, more dramatic maybe. Something grander. Something better. I was, after all, asking for a glimpse of the God who formed the Universe with just a thought. 

But I couldn't see anything else. He just stood there, his eyes set on me, that man with the balloons.

Ok, God. I'll go with it...

In that moment, I felt as though time had flown backwards and I was a five-year-old girls again. Back before life became unfair. Back before life became work. Back before I was jaded by missing auditions and watching everyone else get picked for the team and being rejected by people I just wanted to love. Before I ever thought to compare myself to someone else. Before I didn't think I had what I ought to. Yes, there I stood. Five years old. In wonder. Gazing at the most beautiful sight: So. Many. Balloons.

What I wouldn't give for that man to hand me those beautiful balloons.

I knew, for certain, that if I could only hold those strings, I could float off into the clouds. And I was sure the man would hand them to me. 

Why shouldn't he, after all?

It was my wildest dream back then. To fly underneath those brilliant colors.

And then, it hit me. It was God standing there with those balloons. Showing me that He was the Giver of all good things. The Giver of good gifts. It was He who was holding my wildest dreams, offering me wings to soar. And I believed Him. 

Why shouldn't I, after all?

All at once, I began to argue with myself behind my closed eyes. I tried to shake off the image again. Because no one ever handed me those balloons. How hard would it have been? Really. How difficult would it have been for one man to just make one little girl's dreams come true? With balloons, of all things? I wasn't asking for much.

And I found myself doubting that God was the Giver of good gifts. At least, I was doubting that it was me He would give them to. 

Others, maybe. But not me. 

I had surely received the short end of the stick. The string with no balloon attached. The life that was simply too hard.

For a quick moment, there in the early hours, I almost had myself convinced.

But then, my picture changed in an instant. The man let go of all of the balloons. Sent them soaring in every direction into the air. And do you know what He did?

Well, He didn't scorn me for doubting. He didn't chastise me for my disappointment. He didn't walk away in frustration at my response. No. Instead...

He ran. 

He ran straight toward me. With His arms open wide and that sweet smile and those tender eyes. And He scooped me up in His arms, and He held me close to His heart. Carrying me. Protecting me. Wanting me. Choosing me. Affirming me. Loving me.

I knew, then, that I didn't need the balloons. Of course, He was still the Giver of all good things. The Giver of good gifts. 

But He was more than that, and the more was all that mattered.

Yes, He was more. Because He was enough. He was enough for me. And nothing else mattered, there in His embrace.

Suddenly, I forgot about what I had been wanting. Suddenly, my desires were wholly changed.

Nothing could have been more beautiful. Nothing could have made me more whole. Nothing could have fulfilled my dreams more completely.

He was enough in those early hours. He is still enough now. And He always will be enough.

Is He enough for you?
Choose Joy_Girl with Balloons
 

I'm leading a group online through Katie Orr's new Bible study, Everyday Peace, from September 12-October 7th. Would you consider joining me?

We're going to search out the heart of the God who is more than enough. The God who promises us peace. I want that peace. I want to rest in knowing that He is enough. How about you?

I love having this kind of encouragement and accountability from other women as I dig into God's Word, and I'd love to have you along with me. t's completely free to join the study. All you need to purchase is the book

You can sign up for my study group here: