“God is wonderfully patient and understanding and will wait for the slow heart to catch up with the truth.” A.W. Tozer, Keys to the Deeper Life
We see ourselves and sometimes truth looks back at us. But if we aren’t careful, if we look linger too long on our past, trouble brews a mountain around it. Our negative, internal tape pushes play and begins trash-talking us, about us.
“Who do you think you are? There you go again, messing up! Why can’t you just shut your big mouth, already? They’re talking about you because of that thing, you know? Get your act together, for the love–Sheesh!”
We imagine ourselves, worse and worse off, until we grab the shovel leaning against the shelter and dig our own burial. In fact we don’t stop at a shallow grave. Instead, we go big, going deeper than is necessary. We talk ourselves right out of the resurrected life.
There’s a fine line in dying to ourselves. It’s a delicate and necessary work. But we can become so consumed, so condemned, so fixated on dying while looking at our sins, all the time, we never leave the tomb. We might as well be mummies, wrapped in layers of shame. In fact, we forgive others and maybe, one day, we’ll forgive ourselves. One day.
Yet, we are still alive. We still have breath. And if every time we recall our former life and it slays us with terrible agony, then we must let the old man die, once for all. We must trek through the valley in order to fully embrace the new life within us. We must go with God and rise again. Again and again, if need be–however many times it takes.
In the book, Thrashing About with God, Mandy Steward writes, “Oh what a slip-sloppy mess I made. What a bumbling-fumbling way to stir a pot I didn’t even need to have my hands in.”
She chided herself for getting hot under the collar about something and realizing later, maybe she jumped the gun. It’s the way we know it too. Of how we look back on yesterday and wish we had not stepped in that smelly mess. If we’d just not said that one last thing. If we’d just throttled back, a little.
We are a people of amnesia, ones who forget who we are, ones who forget the Kingdom resides within us. We need sign posts on wooden poles, their arrows pointing a direction straight at our hearts with big letters, that’d read “Grace & Mercy–Receive it Freely.” We need to give back to ourselves as much as we give to others.
Mandy’s advice to herself was to, “laugh at myself lovingly and wrap my arm around my own shoulder and say, ‘You sure are a passionate young thing, aren’t you?'”
We can stay at the foot of the cross. We can even we stay on the cross or in the tomb, indefinitely. But there comes a time we must resurrect.
There comes a time we must be empowered by the spiritual life to face real spiritual battles. And in so doing, we become empowered by Christ to embrace the gifts we’ve been given. We are, after all, sons and daughters. We’ve been adopted. We might as well act like it and dare to be who we really are.
“Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.” Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways
(This is part #4 of the #Write31Days series. I won’t have a post every day, but I will be posting more often for the month of Oct. And there may be mistakes, grammar or spelling errors, however, the conversation will be what matters, right? I hope you’ll bear with me as we explore the idea to be #Empowered by the Spiritual Life. Feel free to share your thoughts too.)
I’d love to continue our conversations on being #empowered by the spiritual life. Sign up and I’ll also send you my small ebook on facing fear that paralyzes you.