Last week I had another graduation, though this was one I didn’t have on the calendar. It began on Tuesday when I mowed the lawn. I don’t remember what started the downward spiral, but the drone of the mower wasn’t drowning out the thoughts that kept pummeling my mind. Somehow I had let my mind wander and had opened a door to a room filled with pain. I soon found myself in a battle that was about as intense as they get. The thoughts coming from outside my mind (so you know the source) kept trying to get me to become bitter or resentful or pass judgment on those who attacked me. I kept forgiving…and reforgiving…and forgiving again. I cried and repented for my part in things (yet again) and wondered what was it going to take for me to finally get over what happened. Then I had an interesting thought. Peter asked Jesus how many times should he forgive his brother when his brother sins against him. The answer probably seemed way out there to Peter when Jesus told him seventy times seven. So was that seventy times seven different sins or was it one offense that kept coming back to the mind and each time forgiveness had to be extended? The answer is probably yes, lol. In any event, I determined I would forgive as many times as it took, that I would never allow bitterness or anger or resentment in my heart. I felt that day was a test, and that as grueling as it was, I had passed.
A couple days later I was at the store and had to buy a few things. The total was $19.76 and the cashier said, “That was a good year.” I told her yes, that was the year I graduated. As I walked out to the car I’m not sure if it was an impression or if I heard that it was going to be my graduation day. I kind of tucked that away but I could feel a sense of anticipation. Soon afterward a friend came to visit and we talked for a couple hours. Her wisdom and the grace and love she extended brought revelation and healing and by the time she left I realized that I was no longer the person I used to be. A shift had taken place and I could release the past and move on.
I decided to go to Global in the evening to hear Bob Hazlett speak and went early enough to catch worship. When I graduated from my internship at Global back in 2014 I had put together a compilation video and there was a song I used that is to this day one of my favorites, Bethel’s “Chasing You.” It always takes me back to that graduation. I had never heard it played live in worship anywhere, so you know what’s coming. Let’s just say I sang my heart out :)
Jesus doesn’t always come to still the storms in your life; He comes to show you He is more powerful. Bob’s message what just what I needed to hear. He spoke on “Nextpectation”, which describes the place between where God has us right now and the place He is taking us to. It’s that moment of anxiety/anticipation between the natural and the supernatural, the moment between the seen and unseen, an expectation about what God is going to do next. If I knew what was going to happen I wouldn’t need hope. Hope is always planted in a place of uncertainty. But on our way from glory to glory, something needs to move out of the way. If you’re going to take this new place, something has to be displaced. So no matter what you’re going through or what you’ve been through you are standing in the place of grace, and grace enables you to fall forward. So I boast in the hope of what God is about to do even though I don’t know what that will look like. Whatever it is, though, I am sure it is beyond what I can even ask or think. It has to be because it’s from Him!