Today’s Monday’s Marinate we explore final thoughts from our journey to become Undaunted. While the supplemental devotional series is officially completed, I felt God wanted to put a final cherry on top of the sundae of Scriptures we have tasted over the past several weeks.
Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you. And His glory will be seen upon you.—Isaiah 60:1-2 NKJV
In Christine Caine’s book, Undaunted, she shares a harrowing experience God used to remind her of the urgency required to help the lost in need of rescue. She was set to have a fun-filled day of adventure with friends. As they drove through the rainforest, their jeep careened out of control. It crashed into a muddy ditch, no longer able to carry its passengers to their destination.
Initially, the situation didn’t seem too alarming. As time passed, that sentiment changed. They stumbled through the rainforest unprepared in flip flops, without water, and no clear idea of where they were headed. Christine and her friends began to realize the severity of the situation. The need for rescue became more evident as evening approached.
Rescue didn’t come immediately. But when it finally did, waves of relief washed over Christine and her friends like rain crashing on the forest floor.
God used the traumatic experience to drive home a point.
When a damsel is in distress and in need of rescue, relief can’t come soon enough!
The words God spoke to Christine were: Yes, Christine, you are saved. Remember what it is to be saved. Remember what it was to be lost. Remember the darkness and the difference between feeling carefree one morning and by evening sad and scared and sorry for being careless. Remember that I am here. Remember that I want to save every soul. And remember what it is to be unable on your own ability to get out of the dark.*
Have you ever found yourself in a dangerous situation? Have you ever been in need of rescue?
I have. While God has redeemed my life, He wants me to remember.
He says, Don’t ever forget what it feels like to once have been very lost.
It’s important to remember, so we do not fall back into a pit of sin.
It’s important to remember, so we never cease being grateful for all God has done in our lives.
It’s important to remember, so we see those in need of salvation.
I didn’t set out to remember as I struggled through the remnants of my storage unit. In fact, I avoided the boxes that had beckoned far too long. I didn’t want to remember the sad, suffocating memories stuffed away from a life I no longer led. I knew lurking among the cobwebs were contents that could trigger a torrent of emotion. I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to break the seal on the boxes without being broken again myself. Yet, I sensed “it’s time”.
It’s time. Remember, you are on a journey to become Undaunted my dear.
Okay. I can do this. I might bend, but I will not break.
The cardboard contained memories much like a time capsule buried in a graveyard. The rectangular tombs exhumed, I examined their contents. Much decay had set in, some of the items destined for a proper landfill burial.
Remembering has its rewards. I was reunited with tiny treasures like my son’s first pair of Nikes and his baby blankets which once wrapped him in warm comfort.
While I continued to rummage through the remnants of my “old life”, I felt God’s warm comfort wrap me in His embrace. In His presence, I can be Undaunted. I can dive elbow-deep into a box and dig more memories out.
I found old journals, ones I’d actually kept. Most of my journals are forever destroyed. I threw them away before anyone could read them. For whatever reason, some made it out alive. This part of remembering was difficult. I forget how far I’ve come with Christ, until I read the words scribbled upon the page. So sad. So lost. So desperate.
Remember January 1992. Remember age 24. Remember.
I’ve decided I’m probably the most confused person on this planet when it comes to relationships. I’m searching for something or someone that I’m not sure is out there.
Remember June 1992. Remember age 24. Remember.
Did you ever feel trapped someplace you shouldn’t be? The more you attempt to escape, the smaller the cage gets. I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing; I feel lost within myself & my own little world I created sometimes. I just feel like giving up – my son is probably the only thing that keeps me from doing just that. My whole life is a mess and has been that way for a long, long time.
As I read through the gut wrenching musings of a girl, I grieved for her. My heart broke for the hurt she hid from others. She knew she was lost. She didn’t know how to be found.
She was desperate to be loved. If only she knew she already was. Fully. Completely. Loved by God.
Remember January 1992. Remember age 24. Remember.
I’m going to take my son to church today. Maybe if I start attending church my life will start to have some order. I need some higher power to guide me.
She knew she needed something more; she just didn’t know how to access it.
Certainly, Satan doesn’t want us saved. He put a cease and desist order to pull her down a different path. She didn’t have anyone to set her straight to the truth in God’s Word. As believers, we need to keep a lookout for the lost. The enemy won’t idly sit back and allow salvation of souls. We need to help those seeking God.
About two decades later, this lost girl experienced a landslide.
Remember December 2008. Remember age 40. Remember.
I pulled out my vision board I’d created late last year for myself. Even then it is clear to me that I felt I’d lost a loving, caring relationship & that I was under tremendous stress … I just didn’t realize it at the time. I think the biggest representation of the stress I was under is a large picture that said ‘Breathing Space’ with a woman doing yoga – at peace with herself. To me, that’s so significant and reflective of how I felt … The fact that I felt like I couldn’t breathe makes me feel sad for where I was in life, but I’ve done a lot of healing this year … with more needed. I’m certain of that. …
… We started going to church and I thought we were on the right course to healing. Then, about a year ago now actually, I had niggling concerns … I wanted a divorce at that point … My ex and a friend convinced me to go talk to the pastor. I bared my soul and cried many tears as I explained the life that I was hiding from all the world. No one had any idea of all that my ex and I were dealing with, or at least very few people did. It takes a lot of energy to hide what you don’t want the outside world to see. I realize that now. I wanted everyone to think I was this happy person, in a loving relationship, with my life together. They didn’t know that was the furthest thing from the truth.
Remember January 2009. Remember age 40. Remember.
Do not lose yourself. Find the person that’s right for you. Who will make you shine?
Little did I know I had searched all the wrong places. It was never a man who would help me shine. It was always Christ. He shares His radiance with those who love Him. He alone has the power to polish every tarnished and tainted portion of our soul. And when we start to reflect His light, well, that is beauty that leaves us breathless in a good way.
As I genuinely began to journey down a path to pursue Christ, a shift began to take place. The one who never believed in herself, or anyone else for that matter, began to believe a few good things. Christ was at work hiding hope in her heart.
Remember January 2009. Remember age 40. Remember.
I am loved by God, my family, and my friends. I will find peace & happiness for my spirit. I will be the best I can be … You can be a wonderful person, Tracy. Let that shine through. =)
Her legs were wobbly and it would take another full year before she surrendered her life to Christ. But this lost woman-girl began to find her way. Truly. No more faking it. Instead of fumbling about in the darkness, she was determined to walk in the light of God’s truth. She wouldn’t have called it that at the time, but she knew she wanted it. She wanted what she saw in others. She was desperate to get out of the darkness.
And so … God brings us back to Isaiah 60:1-2
Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you. And His glory will be seen upon you.
We remember so we can reveal God’s glory as we share the power of His saving grace in our lives. We remember so others are not forgotten. There are a lot of lost and broken people in this world, many of whom don’t even know they are heading in the wrong direction.
There was a time when I thought the sinful life I led was normal. Oh no, it was a path to destruction. And sadly, there was a lack of Love – the most genuine and authentic love we can ever possess.
When we see the lost walking in a lack of Love, let’s help. For God so loved the world … (John 3:16).
Christine’s Bible study included three points to help us live up to the challenge.
- We who have been rescued have a responsibility to rescue others. **
- For when we were yet unloved, He loved us. **
- Don’t allow the disappointments of yesterday stop you from stepping into God appointments of tomorrow. **
I shared many of these sentiments – Christine’s and mine – during our Bible study. The next morning, I bumbled about in the kitchen, not yet having had my morning caffeine infusion. Once I got the coffee brewing, my barely awake eyes caught something on my kitchen counter.
I had cleaned up a bit the day before and had left one of the bottles on the counter. It was Windex. And it had a sticker on it. The sticker read …
Of course, that made me chuckle! Of course God would give a guarantee. A promise. A PERFECT SHINE EVERY TIME. I shook my head and smiled.
How is God calling you to shine?
QUESTIONS & ACTIONS
- Related reading. Read Psalm 116.
- Remember. If you are saved, the LORD has been good to you. Be good to others.
- Remember. When a damsel is in distress and in need of rescue, relief can’t come soon enough! What can you do to bring relief to someone this week?
* Caine, Christine. Undaunted: Daring To Do What God Calls You To Do. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.
** Caine, Christine. Study Guide Undaunted: Daring To Do What God Calls You To Do. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.