being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
Tag Archives: Christianity
I put a lot out there.
Maybe that’s a dangerous thing to do in an age where identity theft is such a strong possibility.
Sometimes I worry about being so honest about myself.
But then I get the comments and the private messages. They’re thankful when I spill the private places of my heart onto this computer screen and out into the internet unknown.
I’m just a stay-at-home wife and mother. I haven’t lived a life that one would call extraordinary. I’ve traveled a bit, but not nearly as often or as far away as I’d like. I haven’t had a growing and prosperous career. I have a nice home, but it is no shape to be showcased in a magazine.
What I do have is a heart that longs for unity among broken believers.
I put myself out there because maybe if I do, someone else will be brave enough to come out from behind the mask.
Because I know that if I’m guilty of it, hiding behind a mask, that others are too.
We hide the ugly places because we fear rejection. We don’t want the condescension. We don’t want the blank stares.
But if we are to find intimacy with other human beings, then we need not be afraid to pull the broken parts of our lives from behind our backs, hold them in our open hands and say, “This is me.”
What I’ve found when I do this, when I lay these jagged shards of myself at the alter and let the whole world see how messed up I really am, other people do too. They may not do it as publicly as I do. It may just be a through private message to me. But they do, they let themselves be vulnerable and say, “I struggle with that too. I’m glad I’m not alone.”
We aren’t meant to be alone in our struggles. But so often we believe we should be. I hate that we believe that the way to muddle through our struggles is alone, sometimes with our Bible in hand, but never with another soul to walk alongside us. Sometimes, for those of us who are married, we don’t even let our spouses venture with us to those secret places.
Do you ever yearn like I do to have the kind of unity that the first church had? Yes, they were human. And yes they struggled. But they carried each others’ burdens. They gave as they had. And none of them needed. Did they carry more than physical burdens? Were they open enough to bare their emotional and spiritual burdens to one another in such a way that older women instructed the younger women, older men mentored younger men? Did they sharpen and hold each other accountable?
Why have we fallen so far from our first example? Many of us realize how desperately we need Christ and God’s grace. But do we realize how desperately we also need each other? I wonder when we will realize how important our relationships to each other are in God’s kingdom. I can only imagine what it will look like when we finally do.
It was kind of messy. And now I’m a mess. Because I keep wanting to go back.
But nothing’s a secret to you.
You see the most secret places of my heart. You have for years, even if I have tried shoving all my messes into them and closed the doors to hide them.
But you’ve been opening those doors. All the messes are spilling out onto the floor. And you’re making me look at the pile of crap on the floor, the things I’ve tried to hide, tried to ignore, tried to forget. A bunch of broken, shattered, worthless vessels.
And those vessels won’t hold anything. The load of my sin and the world has cracked them to pieces and they’re useless. I’ve been using them to collect putrid water from the world’s cisterns, thinking it would quench my thirst. Those vessels never held anything of value or worth. Or satisfaction.
My wretched soul cries out for your mercy, your compassion, your grace, your intervention. Because I can not do it myself.
Give me strength to not grasp for them again. Keep me from trying to swim in after them, and in doing so, drown in the sea that is the broken world in which I live.
Make me a vessel. Let me go to the spring of Living Water and be filled.
And satisfy me completely. Let me feast on your Word. Let me never thirst again.
Thank you for loving me enough to discipline me. Thank you for loving me enough to make me stare my sin in the face and confront what has been eating away at my soul. And thank you for the grace you give, that has already overcome.
Jeremiah 2:13: My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Psalm 90:8: You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Isaiah 30:1, 12-15, 18-22 : (1) “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the LORD, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin;
(12-15) Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.”
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,
(18-22) Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!”