A Sunday morning many years ago I was singing the words in a bridge of a song that had been plucked from the book of Romans, “And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?” As I passionately belted out the words I heard a whisper in my heart, “You Kelly, you are the only thing standing in the way of me working in your life.”
I stood in shock as those words soaked into my heart, I was what held me back from reaching the true potential that God had created in me. And I was sad because I knew they were true. And they weren’t spoken in acquisition or anger but in gentle conviction, which I think made me even sadder.
Well, I continued to walk around with those words year after year. I couldn’t quite shake the weight of them. At first, they felt like a prescription to a problem. The state of my being was one of fear, that held me back from taking challenges, resign to the notion that this was just life, accept my place and position for what it was. Then as time went on they prompted me to inquire further, why were they true and for that matter what did they mean?
As we self reflect we are able to find the image bearer in us that shows us who we are in Christ. I was able to weed through all this to realize that the Kelly that held me back was not the Kelly that imaged Christ. And if it was a false me, well then she could be pushed aside so that Paul’s words would manifest into truth, that nothing could stop me if God is for me.
I began to believe that God was really for me, that he loved me beyond measure. As love permeates us it drives out the fear that stops us. This involves a lot of truth-telling, a healthy dose of confession, a posture of humility and a willingness to walk in the light, let it shine so that it can heal. And with that healing comes hope, because God’s last word is always hope.
A few weeks ago I was listening to another song, but the same words from Romans 8. In this new place of healing and hope with God, “If God be for us,” rang out from the third part of Handel’s Messiah. As the words echoed in my heart, the voice whispered to me again, “And now not even you can stop you or me dear one.” God took my sadness and filled me with tears of joy.
We all come to places where we feel stuck, like we are our own worst enemy. Even Paul says in the chapter before that he finds himself in this cycle of doing what he doesn’t want to do and not doing what he does want to do. But if we let ourselves become aware, then we can become engaged, we can wrestle with God in these places in our lives. We must strive ahead and remember that we are Easter people, people of hope and that if God is for us, then who could stop us?