by Diana Malone Akins, oneLifemaps Facilitator
When I was a child I loved to make an image out of a page of disconnected dots. You remember them, a mass of numbered dots that mysteriously sat on the paper, a puzzle waiting to be solved. The excitement mounted as you followed the numbers and discovered the image hidden inside. Out it popped! Like an object under water!
Transitional seasons can feel like that. A series of disconnected events not making much sense can feel like life under water.
Mapping is a well-designed tool that can aid in that discovery. The beauty of mapping is its ability to create a "tangible picture" of what has felt like a series of disconnected events. Suddenly, through a question or a forgotten memory, a faint image appears. And something begins to take shape. What appeared to be a black and white etching now begins to have both color and carefully drawn, textured edges. A design of divine purpose shaped through the beauty, pain, confusion and tragedy. It's like being invited to go on a treasure hunt with Light Himself, in darkness.
"....for I will give you treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places..." Isaiah 45:3 NAS
The greatest illustration of this for me is seen in the irony of the cross. Clearly, a treasure discovered in the darkest of brutal humanity. Pure Innocence nailed to a tree, the laying down of will, a glorious intervention for my welfare. Pain and purpose, tragedy and beauty.
"...so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name." Isaiah 45:3 NAS
I have learned over the years, going on a "hunt" without a heart poised to receive from God what He wanted to show me, has the potential to leave me defeated and filled with a fresh deposit of self-sufficient determination or self-condemnation. Alone. Sometimes we don't ask the right questions because we don't know them. The gentle prompts given with each map help direct the heart to consider the bigger story being told. I'm invited to travel below the waterline and listen to Jesus say to me "watch Me, trust my Father...watch Me suffer for those I love...watch Me redeem all things, watch Me move through darkness."
Life transforming treasure is most likely "stored in secret places." Time to look for treasure.
Questions for Reflection:
"For I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth stored in secret places, so that you may know it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name." Isaiah 45:3 NAS
Lord Jesus, You know us so well. Give us a single heart as we seek your face. Cut away the things that confuse and distract our attention away from You. Go below our waterlines to the "sin beneath the sin," our motivations and hidden places. We are so prone to become fixated on what we can see. Give us courage to look for Your revealed treasure in places we would never look. Surprise us with Your grace. Help us live in an authentic rhythm in You. Amen