In your journey through the CHRIST stages of faith you’ll experience lots of spiritual peaks and pits. Everyone’s experience is unique, but generally mature disciples of Jesus are likely to experience two high points separated by a valley. . . . Surprisingly, our lows as well as our highs are expressions of God’s grace and opportunities for learning.”- Kristi Gaultiere (emphasis author’s)
As Kristi Gaultiere moves on in Chapter 2 of Journey of the Soul, she notes how many times the apostle Paul used the word grace. Over one hundred times! Most significantly, that’s more than half the times we find the word grace in the Bible.
In addition, as you study the Scriptures on grace, you come to see that God’s favor comes with power. Writing in The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’ Essential Teachings on Discipleship, Dallas Willard said:
“The sinner is not the one who uses a lot of grace . . . The saint burns grace like a 747 burns fuel on takeoff.”
Therefore, to tap into God’s grace, Kristi suggests, touch base with Jesus and let Him know how you feel. Or seek empathy from a friend. However, unhealthy coping mechanisms hijack your personality. In the process, you unconsciously deny your stress and your need to be governed by grace. Rather than trusting God to nourish and strengthen you, you try to secure yourself in this world.
Hence, Kristi advocates sharing the ‘peak’ and ‘pit’ of your day. With a trusted friend, take turns to talk about your day and listen to each other with empathy. Then pray together. Through this soul talk, you’ll learn to appreciate the events of your day. That you’re not left alone to manage your live in the Cycle of Works.
In conclusion, Kristi notes, the sixteenth-century founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, called the rhythms of peaks and valleys consolation and desolation. Kristi explores these concepts in the next blog. Briefly, in times of consolation we feel the warmth of God’s presence. Whereas in times of desolation, these feelings evaporate. God seems far away.
Today’s question: Describe notable spiritual peaks and pits in your life. Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Trusting God in desolation”