Thursday, March 06, 2008

On Listening, Humility and Brokennes

The words of a friend stopped me dead in my tracks this morning. Recounting a humbling and painful experience she finds herself in, she wrote, "Why do I wait to listen until the truth hurts like hell?"

Wow.

I realized how perfectly (and imperfectly) that captures my disposition lately. Although many areas of my life are lived in surrender to God, there are many that I cling to and try to control. In a discussion last night at my church, we talked about why we hesitate to fully let go of what we have and trust God to do what He said He will, to be who He says He is, to be everything we need today and ever will need in our lives. And when we come crawling back to Him in our brokenness from the stubborn mistakes we have made, realizing a truth that hurts all too potently, He never once denies us. But He does not hesitate to discipline us, as well...because He is a loving Father. His grace is overwhelming in this.

Even the disciples, the men who had walked with Jesus, wrapped their arms around Him, seen Him heal multitudes of people, watched Him die then resurrect...had serious issues with doubt. John 14 reveals such uneasiness in their questions. "How will we know the way home?" Thomas asked. "Show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Philip said. But Jesus answers, "Philip, don't you even know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! Don't you believe that I am the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me. Just believe that I am the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of what you have seen Me do." (John 14:9-11, TNLT)

As shattering as these words are...I can relate to their doubt in more ways than I would like to admit. Maybe seeing Him die a gruesome death on the cross was still something they weren't past, even though He was standing, flesh and blood, in front of them. Maybe all the times He was there with them and they saw His character lived out were somehow not enough for their mortal minds to believe, even though their hearts burned within them. Maybe they were just as human as I am today...even with the Divine staring them in the face and breathing the same air they did.

He has been here, undoubtedly, in my life. His arms around me have come in the form of so many family members, friends, strangers and fellow believers who have cared for me, even in the darkest times of my life. His faithfulness has revealed itself through every circumstance, even when I try to hold on to my life and make it work out.

Something I have learned in the past year is that true humility begins with a willingness to be broken. It is just a matter of how we arrive at that brokenness--by allowing God to break us or by allowing our own fall to break us. I have felt the urgent need in my life lately to allow margin, space, Sabbath...to hear God speak, to experience that divine brokenness, just so I can know Him better. Not to get an answer or direction, even if those are desperately needed. I just know that I need to be whole-hearted about something, and if I seek Him first, the rest will follow in His due time.

Complacency has reared its head in all the wrong places of my life, even if the people around me think I am making progress and accomplishing things. It was never about those things or those perceptions, though. It is foolishness without Him. It is hollow and meaningless without Jesus as the center of my life and God's Kingdom at the forefront of all that I do. I cannot get around it, because there is no other way than this straight and increasingly narrow path He has set before me. So here I find myself...and here I wait.

I will not go another step without Him.

5 Comments:

Blogger Brad said...

R:

Supremely excellent post. I'd like to tell you that it gets easier someday. Maybe it's just me, but He just has to keep breaking and breaking...Towards wholeness.

Brad

7:33 PM  
Blogger cool dad said...

One thing that has broken me, and hopefully I have stayed broken about it, is thinking how much I have hurt people. It pains me to think I've hurt someone, whether I know them or not.

Looking back over life and recounting the times I've done it underscores my need for Jesus in me and all around me.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks Brad and Cool Dad! You're both rather...rad.

=)

4:02 PM  
Blogger cool mum said...

totally relate to this post...thank you!

6:47 AM  
Blogger The Nince said...

felt like i this post was being written for me...thanks Rachel. Just like cool mum, i totally relate.

10:15 AM  

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