What a week! I can’t even put it into words. My mind is still processing it all and I am about to jump up and down in joy over all that God has done and said to me this week. I feel like my light switch has flipped back to the ON position. Last night I had a long talk with a very dear friend-one who knows and understands this journey I have been on with God-the pushing, the pulling, the stretching, groaning and growing. In that talk I realized that I have been treading water for quite some time. Treading to keep from drowning and filling my time with “church work.” I heard myself telling her that I am tired of being a “yes” person and that from now on I was striving to be a “spirit” person. What I mean by that is that I do not want to be in bondage with church work. I desire to be led by the Holy Spirit in doing what GOD is calling me to do. God is teaching me how to do this and this week I have been given freedom from merely doing church work to BEING the church.
It all started with being asked to speak tomorrow. I haven’t spoken in awhile and am feeling anxious. But it was also an affirmation to me that God still desires to use me even though I’ve been running in the other direction. Then I heard a message about not getting caught with your work undone. Well, it spiraled from there because that really made me think about what kind of work I’ve been doing. Some of it has been for God and some for the church. Now I am not saying that church work is unimportant, but that we shouldn’t let mere church work consume us the way I tend to let it. I am a DOER and I have to be very careful about how much DOING I do and why. There’s a fine line there.
God has shown me through other people that there’s plenty of work to do right here and that people right under our noses are in need of love and grace. Strangers to us, but children to God. None of God’s children should ever feel unloved, but they do. Why? Because we, the Body of Christ, are NOT doing our jobs. I know, it hurts, doesn’t it? There’s no easy answer except to get out and start helping. I serve with an amazing bunch of people who are not afraid to get out of their comfort zones and go into the world and be weird. Following Christ requires us to do things differently and to be bold and passionate in all that we do. We are not normal. In order to have spiritual wealth we must break ourselves in other areas…areas like pride and selfishness. When we get out into the world and make ourselves available to the hungry, hurting and needy is when we become broken and unwrapped. It’s in this time of brokenness and unwrapping that we begin to see who are in Christ’s image. We look in the mirror and the person looking back looks a little more Christ after each wrapping comes off. It takes others to help us unwrap and we cannot do it alone. We aren’t meant to. Jesus commanded the friends of Lazarus to unwrap him-why? Because Lazarus was just standing there, in bondage with no control over the situation and all he could do was wait for his friends to begin taking the wrapping off. Can you imagine being Lazarus? Peering out from behind the smelly, stinky, itchy, cloth of the grave? After 3 days of death I can only imagine there were a few bugs up inside those wrappings…If I were Lazarus I would have had my eyes wide open screaming, “Let me outta here so I can tell everyone what my God has done for me! He really does love me and yes, he can use a dead man! “
Imagine being Lazarus…the waiting and watching for his friends to move….
what would have happened if no one moved?
Isn’t that what we do sometimes? We say, ” oh I can’t do that, or I can’t do this….” Why? Are we afraid of what God might reveal? Are we afraid that it is too hard? Too painful? Or that we will go nuts and be depressed because the world is a worrisome place? That is my worry. I have been running away from God because I know I am not strong enough to do what I think he is asking me to do. I’m a chicken. I have depression issues from time to time and I am afraid that answering God’s call will bring me to a deeper level of depression. ( and isn’t that just like negativity to take over and invade everything that is good? ) I have a tendency to wear people’s problems, I take them on as my own. I have also seen, over the last several years, how God has been dealing with me on that issue. He has been strengthening me and giving me tools to use. I don’t want to be a depressed blubbering idiot so I run in the other direction. Lately I’ve been hiding behind my own wrappings of fear and worry. That has been made evident to me this week. Not by any one particular thing, but by all things together. In talking with my friend, I got choked up and the tears wouldn’t hold back any longer. I said to her, ” where did those tears come from? ” In the kindest, softest voice she said, ” don’t you know?” it was almost like a whisper. I felt like God was talking to me in that moment and that he was saying, “child, I love you, don’t you know that? Don’t you know that you have worth and that I need to use you? Why won’t you let me?”
Life and growth is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes prayer, commitment, discipline and yes….friends. Friends who are willing to unwrap you one layer at a time until they get down to the fresh, new, beautiful person that is underneath those graveclothes-the person that God made and that Jesus commanded to COME OUT!
We serve a God of POWER and MIGHT and we have to go out like Lazarus did and tell the world!
There’s no one stopping us because if God is for us-then who can be against us?
Amen, Amen, Amen.
Psalm 16:8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.