October 13, 2016 | by: Maureen Maniquis | 2 Comments
Posted in: Gospel Living
It’s easy to look over the course of a lifetime and wonder what it would look like if different choices had been made. Life is full of choices. We make them every day. Some are minor and of no consequence but some are major and affect not only us but those we love. There have been times that I’d wished I could go back and redo some of those choices; the ones where I disregarded the Words of my Lord. I didn’t cherish them in my heart. They’d been written there but I didn’t regard them with honor for their life-giving power. I was foolish. I thought I could circle back around later on, when I had more time for God—when it didn’t interfere with my plans. I didn’t see the harm seeping in through the cracks. I didn’t see the wounds that would cause disability. I wasn’t aware that a kind of disfigurement was beginning to form; the damage had been done.
And yet, here I am, full of hope. I have been washed in the river of forgiveness and I have been given the key to the throne room of God—a place of prayer. I enter in freely. My steps are certain and confident. The key has given me this privilege. But, as I cross the threshold, my eyes behold the massive space and I become demure, bashful—simple. The quality of the air in here is different. I can almost touch it. It’s full of the sweet breath of the prayers of all the others who have entered in here before me. The fragrance is pleasing and I breathe in deeply. My lungs fill up on the sweetness and I am reminded why I’ve come.
I have come to see his face. The Ancient of Days has seen a lot and his face is etched with the burdens. These are not worry lines but rather the marks of his sorrow. He sees the brokenness of his children. All day long he hears their pleas as they drift up to his throne. Echoing their need for restoration, they cry out, “How long, O Lord?” How long must we wait until evil is no more?” “How long, O Lord, will it be until all sickness is eradicated?” “How long must we wait until the lion sleeps with the lamb?” “How long, O Lord, until we see the fullness of our salvation?”
He grieves their suffering and exhales the sweetest of breath. I suddenly realize why the air is almost tangible. It’s the grace. The grace of his breath as his words pour forth soothes our ache like an emollient balm. Etched in his face is the infinite wisdom of the Creator, Father, Savior and sovereign Lord. He alone knows how long-- but I have the key until then. I take another deep breath of grace as I look up at his face. I feel no need for pleas right now. I only bow and whisper, "O, Lord!"
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8
“For I was born a sinner---yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But, you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there….Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalm 51:5,6,10 NLT
Maureen Maniquis moved to Florida 10 years ago from Bern, Switzerland where she and her husband were living for 6 years while working at the American Embassy. While there, they helped plant an English speaking church in the heart of the city that still thrives today to meet the needs of expats who desire to be a part of a community of fellow believers. Maureen has been a part of the Restoration Church Core Team since its plant in 2010 and currently serves on the Hospitality Team and Prayer Team and will be a regular contributor to our blogs. She has published a book of her memoirs and is a passionate writer on Gospel living and pointing people to the heart of Jesus. She also blogs here.