net: (n.) an open-meshed fabric twisted, knotted, or woven at regular intervals.
“The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Deuteronomy 33: 27
For the last couple weeks, I have been reflecting on several thoughts:
- The faithfulness of God
- The amount of hardship seemingly everywhere
- The faithfulness of God
- Pain is a gift
- The faithfulness of God
This morning as I was driving from Caleb’s school and reflecting about life in general, suddenly a picture of a net flashed through my head.
As you have read, I recently have been dealing with a few stressors in my life. I have also felt His tremendous care for me and my family. In addition, have felt His love from others in a multitude of different ways.
God is ever-present in joy and in sorrow. He is the net that is always underneath me in case I slip, stumble or fall. This is a net that is twisted and knotted and woven together. The design of a net is made for strength. It is repetitious in design. God is strong and He is consistent. He never changes.
God pours out Himself and as I take in His Word at regular intervals, the net is further reinforced.
However, old habits die-hard, I want to retreat.
Doubts…fear…discouragement…fatigue…all can weaken this net…even to the extent of making huge gaping holes.
It’s embarrassing to say but at the end of church on Sunday…I just wanted to leave as quickly as possible.
I leaned over to Carl and asked…Is it alright if we don’t tarry today?
His response was…”Who’s Terry?”
I said…”Oh no, I meant…” Then I look at his grinning face…
He always has a way of making me laugh.
We had an escape route…but we were enclosed and one by one…people we have gotten to know…people we have come to love drew near…and my resolve evaporated…and the heaviness was gone…we were essentially hemmed in.
This is where the network of believers enters the scene.
Emails…prayers…comments…walks under unexpectedly glorious skies…mail time turns into tea time…Bible study gals that listen, relate and pray…hugs…precious hugs.
Some of you I see every week…some I see less often and some of you I have never even met…but you each are a precious knot in the net that God has provided.
You are the strands that God uses to reinforce the net of my life…the visible pointing to the invisible.
I have said before on this blog that although I would not have readily said “Bring it on” to most that has crossed my path over the last years, I can now say that much of it has been a gift.
Pain is a gift.
It’s alright if you just groaned…I am sure there will be days where I will forget and think anything but the contrary.
Pain, be it physical, emotional, spiritual or mental, has a way of extracting our perceived control…it weakens us…but if allowed, it can prove to be beneficial. It gives God access and room in our tightly wound lives.
James has told us to count it all joy when we encounter trials of various kinds…they perfect our faith and ultimately perfect us.
Paul has said when he is weak from any number of factors then he is actually strong…God’s grace is sufficient.
Paul even goes so far as to say that our light and momentary troubles are obtaining for us an eternal glory that will far outweigh all of muck and mire.
Pain also connects us. Why do you think so many share childbirth stories?
Or that a popular response has become “Been there…done that.”?
We can all relate to pain no matter how much we wish that we couldn’t.
Pain is as old as the Garden and as universal to everyone that draws breath.
God is faithful.
God is our safety net.
safety net: (n.) something that provides security against misfortune or difficulty.
A safety net does not barricade us from difficulties finding us…it is the security or assurance against those difficulties overcoming us.
We will have struggles but God is there.
God is able.
He is enough.
The figurative net that He provides for His children is sufficient.
The word net can also be used as a verb:
net: (v.) remaining after the deduction of all charges, outlay or loss.
It’s a glorious thought that after all the deductions in our lives, there will be something that remains…a net gain…fruit. That’s God’s way of balancing the books in our favor. I don’t know what that fruit will look or taste like but God does. Count it all joy…count on it being delicious.
Why does a net have openings?
Perhaps as we step or even fall into the net of God there are a few scenarios that we might encounter.
We realize we have lost our footing and try desperately to keep our balance. Frankly falling can be a bit humbling. We want to avoid this at any cost so we high step it which only creates another force that propels us in another direction…if we continue to fight the net, we won’t find a solid stance.
We can keep stretching our fingers and toes out into the open spaces…exercising our free will. Do we trust Him? Will we obey Him? Will we wait for Him? Is He our last resort only when we run out of wiggle room?
Have you ever watched a trapeze artist or a tight rope walker? No matter the level of expertise, when they realize they are going to fall, they surrender to the net.
They don’t flap their arms trying to fly or bicycle their legs to delay the inevitable.
Balance has been lost…there is a net.
They lean back and prepare to be caught.
Each one of us must do the same…assume the position and fall back into the safety of His embrace.
Let the Lord hammock you by His Presence.
Trust that there is a net…prepare yourself to be caught.