“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
We never really understand this until we discover it by accident. The truth is most lives are not energised until they are shocked to their core. Hardly ever is anyone born inspired. Inspirational souls are conformed and enlightened, much of the time, through the abyss of suffering. That is where they found their opportunity to make a difference. That is where they discovered the meaning of life—the personal meaning—for them—and how they fit in the context of life and God’s plan.
It’s a comforting irony: God makes life out of the processes we think that lead to death.
Just when we thought something precious had ended, something ever more abundantly precious begins. The former life and the new life have no comparison with each other, apart from the former being the crucial context—the platform from which we spring—for this new work of ours. God is using our pasts for good. He will use our past to deliver others in his holy name.
Our experience of shame is transformed, through truth, into the dust of gold that liberates others, because of our courage now to stand, through what God is doing.
What We Least Expected
Oh, how wonderful a true this is!
When we thought our lives were ending, God had the opposite thought. “I am showing you what I made you for,” and “Though it is still a mystery to you, I have never surely be more in control.” We can imagine God saying these words to us, relating never more personally.
We never think that the opportunity of treasure lies hidden in our failures. But there it is.
We never think that—not until God breaks through our consciousness and shows us the miraculous light with which we come to live in. We come from a basis of having been truly saved—knowing now, truly, what salvation means and how it feels—and now we see how God rebuilds the lame and gives sight to the blind and quickens the deaf to hearing. Suddenly we have all these faculties—mobility, sight, hearing—manifest spiritually.
It took the experience of the abyss—that whole process—to manage the transaction: the transformation of our hearts and minds. And now we know what we know it cannot be undone. This is something truly marvellous. Doubt is replaced with a calm certainty of ongoing resolution: “Now I get it!”
Salvation, truly, the opportunities of treasure in the darkness, has abundant benefit in this: we will never go back; not now that we know that life proceeds from death; that we had to give up a useless part of ourselves to truly know ourselves as creatures under God.
And the miracle is: that ‘useless part’ becomes our magnum opus.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.