"I hear the savior say
Thy strength in deed is small
child of weakness watch and pray
find in me thine all in all.
Jesus paid it all,
all to him I owe,
sin has left a crimson stain,
he washed me white as snow." *
*(May or may not be accurate - completely from memory)
It never hit me until I was in the valley, a literal valley on the edge of Sierra Blanca, how short my presence on the mountain top would be. I had become a little cabin restless, so I decided to take a short run to calm myself when I came across a small creek. Of course I went down to touch the water - ice cold.
My hand, burning from the water, quickly found comfort in the warmth of its stolen glove. I picked up the pace laughing at myself for recklessly diving my hand into the blood-freezing water. As the run progressed, my mind stayed back at the creek. The creek held tightly to my thoughts not wanting to be removed from my memory. I asked God, yes literally asked, "What's up with that?"
Sometimes I humor myself... and sometimes I think God chuckles at me, too.
Then it came... the answer. (I'm sure after God shook his head at his ridiculous child, grinned, and sat down ready to explain what was really up with the fact that the creek would not run free from my attention.)
"Brady, sweet Brady. Your favorite song is about me washing you white as snow. White, pure, clean... unmuddied snow. Let me speak truth to you now. I want you to stop staying frozen on the mountain top. I need you to listen carefully child. You crave the mountain top - yet up here you can't breathe life. White as snow - frozen in my presence, beautiful and clean. Now, yes now, I want you to melt into life water, overflow with what I have done for you, and pour into others.
Run to the valley!
Beware, rocks will try to stop you, limbs and obstacles will cover your path, but have hope because with me you will flow freely and I will flow freely out of you."
Teeth gritting, I became frustrated with this command. I just reached the mountain top, why would I want to go back down?! I have not been here for a long time and this hurt hearing him say "melt... run to the valley!" This was not at all what I wanted, not at all.
So I pushed on... frustrated with the God I am enamored with because I just reached the top and now he is asking me to not slowly come off the mountain top but run freely down!
As if it is my choice?
Suddenly, my thoughts were halted by 5 deer that stopped me dead in my tracks. One squared up to me in the middle of the road, three on the opposite side of the creek and the 5th on the left side of the road trucking up a hill. My eyes bounced between the one who barricaded the road and the three that were drinking from the stream. As I slowly back peddled over my steps a song rushed to my mind - one that is very dear to my heart,
"As the deer panteth for the water,
so my soul longeth after you.
You alone are my hearts desire,
and I long to worship you."
God, I get it.
Mixed between overwhelmed and overjoyed I cautiously asked one more time, just in case.
"Okay, what else do you want to show me?"
I mean seriously, I took this run to relax not to be spoken so clearly to, but if God wants to speak - if the Holy Spirit wants to show me "what's up" then I might as well let him. (Side note - What a spoiled rotten child I can be sometimes... I am so human and worldly it can be absurd/frustrating!)
Then all was quiet.
The run continued back up towards my cabin, when I felt compelled to step back towards the creek one more time. As I took a few steps in I looked down at my feet. Below were pine needles, by the thousands.
A sweet whisper in the wind gently ushered, "I know every one of these Brady."
Again it whispered in my heart, "I know each of the needles that have fallen, those that have fallen before these - now look up."
And I wept. Heart overwhelmed because I finally understood with the little understanding I have.
I am known. Among everything in this world, he knows me. He knows my heart. He knows my longings and desires. He wants to use me... and he take his personal time to speak so clearly to my soul.
My God wants me to go to the valley, he knows what I've done before, what I'm doing now, and what I will do later in his presence. He wants me to go because I understand how loved I am and I do not need to sit on the mountain top any longer basking in his love - frozen in his presence. He wants me to flow past the rocks, the branches, the dams to bring his truth!
He washes you white as snow, then sends you to be a truth bearer, a disciple, a life giver.
I asked him to use me... arms wide open use me.
And he will, he already is.