I invite you to step into my process of how the Lord takes me on an Encounter and how they develop. It is a bit of a peak behind the scene and an invitation for you to come along with me in hopes that this will spur you on to let God use your imagination.
Last January, I began rereading a book I first read probably fifteen years ago- The Gift of Being Yourself by David Brenner. In this spiritual awakening moment, one word stuck out: SURRENDER. My heart began to open again with a fresh experience with Jesus.
In my imagination, this whole scene played out in what I like to call an Encounter. Jesus was inviting me to come into the River of Delight, His River of Creativity. I slowly and cautiously walked into the River until the water hit my waist. My feet could feel the bottom of the jagged edges and smooth edges of the stones below the water’s surface. My hands held above the water because I was cautious about getting all the way in, completely submerged. It was cool enough to offer a bit of gasp and inhale of the tummy muscles.
But Jesus stood in the middle of the River smiling at my humanness. He offered his hand to mine. “I got you. Come here,” he said in a playful tone. I reached over for His hand and stepped on a bigger rock to stand next to Him in the middle of the River. He leaned over and whispered, “Do you trust me?” I wanted to fully believe I did. So I said yes but I was definitely nervous. He held his hand on my lower back and told me to lean back into the water and allow my body to let the water hold me up. Like a swim instructor, Jesus stood beside me holding me just in case I began to let my feet drift to the bottom in an attempt to gain my footing. Seeking His approval, I looked up into His eyes to see them shine and beam with pride as I let go and allowed myself to float upon the water.
Hearing the water flow as my ears tucked beneath the surface, I began to breathe in the beauty of the surroundings of the river. The blue sky more vibrant than i had ever noticed. Laughter from my Instructor caught my attention. “There you go, Sweet One. Just trust and believe I have you.” My whole body relaxed as I allowed the flow of the River continue to offer its buoyant vibe. Surrender.
Surrendering is the act of acceptance of what is and trusting the beauty of the process and the work of the Creator.
If I try to protect myself in an attempt to save myself, I only slip on the rocks and miss out on the release that it is not up to my “doing” and not the surrender of “being.”
Now when I began to get really adventurous as we traveled through the wild ride of 2020, Jesus offered a new playful way to experience the River of Delight: a genuine release to the powerful River of Creativity. Discovering I could release and float down the River, I experienced wonder in the midst of the plot twists and turns. I definitely experienced the anxiety of unanticipated rapids, but Jesus was there offering a raft if I needed. But Jesus’ pure delight and joy as we twisted and turned down the wild River was completely worth it!!
What a wild ride of allowing the River to carry me through. Jesus revealed the churning of the waters is produced by the powerhouse of God’s throne. (This was another word the Lord gave me in January). The waters were never my doing. It was his energy, his flow straight from the throne which created this rhythm.
Like a movie, the scene shifted to me climbing rocks in a giant canyon. The River now below us. My feet and hands gripped the red rock as I climbed higher and higher. At one point,
I looked down and then looked up and saw Jesus’ hand reaching for mine asking, “Do you trust me?” I totally giggled bc it made me think of the Titanic scene. “Yes Jesus.”
Jesus continued to teach me, “Sometimes you have to climb to higher places to prepare for the rising of the waters.”
A rush of waters were beginning to fill the canyon below. We reached the top of the cliff and watched the beauty of the waters fill these deep crevices- 100ft or more deep. The powerful waters broke through the air and fill the canyon all the way to the edge of where we now stood. The waters slow down and Jesus jumps in with pure delight and calls me to join.
Again, I hesitate and contemplate whether I really want to get in…I mean, that water was so deep!! I saw what was below our feet only moments ago- a deep canyon. Jesus smirks as if he was reading my mind and says, “Kristin, when you surrender and allow your body to float and trust, it doesn’t matter if the water is 3 ft deep or 100 ft deep. You still float if you allow the water to uphold you. You can tread water or allow it to hold you.” I jumped in and kept my focus on Jesus’ face because it was so easy to trust Him. I swam to the middle again to meet Jesus and flipped back and floated on a River – a 100 ft deep River. A deep breath. A deep release of fear, letting go of the unknown, and a continual active release of my breath. Surrender.
This is where I am now- in the palm of His swim instructor hands.
Trusting and knowing there are parts of me that the deeper waters continue to offer the fear it can bring; however, I will choose to see the delight and the lighthearted playful hearted CHRIST next to me. I cannot lose but only lose the offering of adventure and miracles.