“A Field of Debris” by Garris Elkins

by | Nov 2, 2010 | Faith, Forgiveness, Hope, Humility, Prayer, Restoration | 0 comments

I am in middle of God’s blessing. This is one of the most significant seasons of God’s presence and provision in my life – the most I have experienced in the last 30 years. All of this is taking place in the middle of a financial and emotional recession in our nation. In contrast to the beauty of what God is doing I have found myself arriving in this time having thought and spoken some very faithless words. These words are like a debris field after a plane crash. Body parts and pieces of wreckage are littering the landscape of my thoughts. I regret them. I want them to go away. I have confessed and denounced them. I am raking up the debris of my unrighteous thoughts and words and putting them into the spiritual trash bags of repentance and sending them to the dump.

My reasons for speaking these kinds of faithless words in the first place are as foolish as anyones faulty reasoning. The faithless words and thoughts birthed in the pain and sorrow of my life were reaching up drawing down a dark lexicon from the shelf of my vocabulary and saying things to me and into my life. Human failure is the fertilizer that gives our belief in a lie the ability to grow.

The blessing confused me at first because the debris field of faithless words yelled back at me that nothing good could come amidst my doubts and fears. These faithless words began to tell me that I had set in motion an irretrievable set of negative outcomes. Doom was ahead. Give up and run! Maybe that is why God sometimes sends blessing amidst our failures – he knows some of us would not hang around if God did not show up.

This week, as I prayed with a group of fellow believers, the Lord spoke to me and said, “I will not be held captive by your failure to understand my love.” When He said these words I realized what He was saying. “You failed in your words and thoughts, but that is not the end of the story. There is more and the “more” is always about increasing your understanding of Me as your Loving Father.”

I began to realize in a deeper way that I was dealing with a loving Father who uses a different measure for love than I do. When I think it is all over, because I have failed in some formulated concept of His love using the broken math of my old nature, God shows up and reveals His heart to me. God formulates His response to us based on His unchanging nature and His perfect love. He does this in a loving partnership with us. The old nature can only see the faithless words producing a crop of death. This is the language of slaves. Since Jesus said we are no longer slaves, but now His friends, we are drawn into something very different. The old nature cannot see hope and mercy. The old nature sees only enslavement. Words spoken without love and faith do produce horrible things, but God has to be bigger than my dwarfed concept of Him and my slavish responses to the pains of life. He has to be bigger and kinder than my words.

God wants to show up in the middle of our failed attempts at this faith-life, in the middle of our self-created debris fields of personal failure, and bless us. The blessing of God, not the failure of people, is where the heart of God is revealed most powerfully. These are the places where we feel we deserve nothing but the ugly fruit of our words and deeds. God has a different and more wonderful plan.

The greater discovery in times of failure is not that we come to realize our brokenness. The greater discovery is that in midst of our human failure God shows up to bless us in spite of ourselves. When we stand in the middle of the debris field we created, and then the blessing comes, that moment of undeserved love produces a depth of humility and height of praise that no successful faith-formula can ever provide.


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