The word has tumbled around my brain often during this cancer journey.
Let me stop right here. Cancer has not magically turned me into some kind of sage or guru. The Lord is using what was intended for evil to bring about good for HIS glory. Anything of value that comes from me is strictly because of Jesus Christ. Period. OK, now let’s move forward.
I’ve been a Christian for many years. So holy has been just another one of those “Christiany” words. You know, a word that people who are not Christians probably would consider weird. But to us who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the word is normal, typical, casual even.
Somewhere along this journey, my eyes are seeing the word holy differently.
And I shutter as I come to the realization of what I once thought, and am now beginning to see. It’s sort of like I was sleepwalking and suddenly I’m beginning to wake up. Notice I said beginning. I feel like I can somewhat relate to the apostle Paul’s statement, “Not that I have already attained it…” (Phil 3:12)
The other morning I was listening to “Revelation Song” and the lyrics about ‘heaven’s mercy seat’ and the Lamb’s holiness caused me to gasp and then literally weep.
Worthy is the
Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song
To Him who sits on
Heaven’s mercy seat
Have you ever thought about that? Like really thought about it? A mercy seat. Gulp. And Who would be worthy to sit on heaven’s mercy seat? And why? And Heaven. Be honest, when’s the last time you really considered our true home?
I feel like It’s all new to me, like I’ve never truly perceived the power, the love, the grace…the blood.
Oh, how I feel like I’ve mishandled holiness. I’ve mishandled grace.
“Woe is me, for I am ruined because I a woman with unclean lips from a people of unclean lips!”(Isaiah 6:5 emphasis mine)
It’s like I was a child given a gift, a beautiful trinket. Something very personal that I could hold in my chubby little hand. When I first received it, I was enthralled. I held it to my chest and beamed. But eventually, I set the trinket on my dresser in a place of honor, of course, because I’d never received anything like it before.
But Soon I went on my way. I received other gifts that appeared to rival the trinket. Occasionally, I would glance and notice it all over again. I would pull the trinket down and roll it between my fingers and sigh, then set it back in its place.
A time came when I was lonely and afraid. I looked all around and there was nothing to comfort me. I eyed the lovely trinket. I took it in my hand and held it tight, immediately transported to the time when it brought me such joy and comfort.
As soon as I got what I wanted, I set the trinket aside again.
And then one day, my father took notice of my special trinket on the dresser. “Do you know what this is? He took a few steps back. “Why, its value is worth more than this house, more than anything!” His eyes grew wide. “Have you touched it?”
Confused and frightened, I glanced at the trinket. Sunlight refracted, nearly blinding me. I shielded my eyes with shaking hands.
How could I NOT have seen this before?
I think of Uzzah, The guy from 2 Samuel 6:1-7 who reached out to steady the ark of the covenant and God struck him dead! I remember thinking, “Wow! That’s a little harsh.“
I chalked it up as things from the Old Testament that I didn’t fully understand and moved on.
Have you noticed how we do that? We act as though the God from the Old Testament is not the same God in the New Testament. Yes, we embrace the new covenant that came with Jesus.
But we also know the Bible tells us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And have you noticed that often we don’t like to ask the hard questions—the ones that make us squirmy? That might take much thought and research. Quite frankly, we tell ourselves we don’t have time for such things. And besides, it might lead to answers that deep inside we don’t want to know. We might actually be challenged, dare I say, convicted—squirmy.
So why did God strike Uzzah dead?
I’m embracing the idea that this just might be one of the most important questions I have asked God.
Here are a few clues. Remember when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray? Ponder how the prayer begins.“Our Father in Heaven, “hallowed” (holy)be your name…” (Luke 11:2-4) Remember what God said to Moses when he saw the burning bush?“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3)
After this encounter with the Great I Am, something dramatic happened to Moses.
His life took an entirely unexpected and different trajectory. Hmmm… Moses came into contact with holiness and bam!
Let me tell you, the answers I have found are leading to a new understanding along with more questions that make me squirmy. In fact, this new knowledge has been my undoing. What I mean is, I have been blubbering a lot lately, and it’s not cancer. And you know what? I’m okay with that. More than okay. I need some undoing. Perhaps you feel that way, too? Or perhaps something inside yearns to. I hope so.
I’ve also learned not to run from squirmy because it’s a good thing.
It gets our attention. It wakes us up. “This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'” Ephesians 5:14, NIV
So, why am I sharing all of this with you? It certainly is not that I believe I am holier than thou. On the contrary! I’m not comparing myself to anyone.
I’m just looking at myself compared to a holy God, and I tremble.
I mean it. But I’m also incredibly grateful—on my face grateful because I know Jesus. Because Jesus stretched out His nail-scared hands and built a bridge that allows me into the holy of holies and it takes my breath away. I’m sharing this because I cannot keep it to myself! I just can’t.
I’m sharing this because I hope and pray that it will point you closer to the Holy One.
- I dare you to humbly ask God to give you the desire, the eyes to see and understand more about His holiness.
- I dare you to research His Word on your own. I beg you not to just read what I’m sharing and stop.
But let me warn you when applied, the Word of God is alive and powerful.
The Word is terrifyingly sharp enough to cut between joint and marrow, soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Ruminate on that for a while. It will be your undoing…if you hold still. At the same time, somehow for those who take it to heart, the Word is the greatest, most holy love ever known to humankind.
- I dare you to find out for yourself more about this holy love.
I promise, even if you’ve been a Christian for decades, you’ve got more to learn—much more. For the depths are unfathomable and unending.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty—the one who was, who is, and who is still to come.” Revelation 4:8
Thank you for reading, dear ones.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Pray requests welcome 🙂
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