Do you ever feel when reading, be it scripture or some sort of book, that the Lord is just sitting right there on the tip of your brain? This great epiphany or understanding is just.right.there. but you can’t seem to reach it? This is where I am. I feel like I’m in this raging battle between the Lord really teaching me this great lesson and my sinfulness pushing Him out of the way. The distractions of my mind whirling so much that I can’t focus enough to get it.
I’m reading Soul Talk by Larry Crabb with a group of women. It’s been a very, very different sort of book for me and honestly at first was difficult to understand. What he writes about is so counter to the way we naturally relate, even when we’ve been Believers for a long time, that I have to stop every few paragraphs and get my bearings.
By far the most awakening chapter for me has been on thinking vision and moving toward brokenness. Crabb writes:
As long as we aim toward a vision we think we can reach, God lets us try. And sometimes we do pull it off…we feel proud and call it gratitude. If it doesn’t, we feel defeated and wonder why God didn’t bless us. But when we aim so high we are forced to face how inadequate our adequacies are, we realize our need for spiritual power.
But what He also writes about in the book is that as Believers, we get so caught up in the thought that if we are doing what God has declared He will always bless us. But the problem is we think materially or in ease of life. And that’s not true. That’s what’s been so hard for me to think about. He will by all means provide for me. He will supply my needs. He has promised that. And He has promised His love for me…an amazing and passionate love.
That is the blessing. The greater reward is obviously beyond this Earth.
I get so caught up in thinking that when my life is hard. When I am struggling to make ends meet that He is going to automatically fill up my bank account and “bless” me.
But really, the blessing is that I wake up every morning, loved no less by my Creator and promised to be given manna every day. As Crabb says: As long as my vision is within my reach, I am merely using God – not abandoning myself to Him. My blessings come from pure and utter abandonment to Him.
The question to ask myself is where I am quenching the Spirit. What are the many areas of my life that I am trying to make work without desperate dependence on Him? That is a crazy scary question. It addresses areas of control and areas of brokenness that I don’t want to enter. It brings me to a place where I have to admit my weakness and my fear and give them over to Him. But His power doesn’t fully come forward in us as long as there is so much us in us.
Children of God – and everyone else – think nobody loves them enough for them to let go of control. Gently the Spirit detaches us from everything we’ve turned to for life and invites us to admit how weary and pressured we feel…then we move from brokenness to power; feeling ourselves being centered in Christ, no longer in ourselves.
And therein lies my greatest struggle. I don’t believe that God loves me enough. I don’t believe that He is going to be there when I jump. It’s like my little girl jumping into the pool. She can either fully trust that her daddy is going to catch her and stand up on the side and jump in with full abandonment and trust. Or she can bend her knees, squat down, hang on to the side and just sort of fall into His arms because she is scared he isn’t going to be there.
I want to jump off the highest dive, with full abandonment into His loving arms.
It is only then that His Spirit can move in me in such a way that I can tell my story and truly be with others in their mess.