Don’t you ever get tired of, well…yourself?
I do. I am.
Sometimes as the weight and weary press against my nerves and my heart beats heavy with the mantle of my own flesh. I just get tired of the loudness of it all.
My flesh. My sin.
Sometimes, it’s all just really, really loud. Those 12 inches from my head to my heart can stretch like miles. What I know to be True and the life I actually breathe deeply of just aren’t always on the same page. If I am being honest, some days my flesh and my sin are just really loud.
Looking back over this past year, it has been raw with suffering, with diagnosis and disease, with breaking. But thankfully, that’s not the whole picture. This year has also afforded a perspective that is keener than I could have arrived at on my own. This suffering, this breaking, this beauty and transparency…it has redefined me and is refining me still.
This perspective has torn the self-absorbed veil from my eyes and gifted me the privilege of seeing a bigger picture. Acutely, the verse from Romans 8 hits closer to home now than it ever has before.
18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”
Romans 8:18, 20-21
“This present suffering”- His grace, His hope, His mercy and love – they are transforming these deep valleys into spaces of beauty and rest. Even as odd as that sounds to say out loud, it is true nonetheless. I will never be the same. Take a moment to consider the hardest parts of your life. I’ll bet that you will find a deep connection to growth in the very same seasons that were most difficult to endure. Hard things change us.
I will forever be grateful for it. All of it. Yes, I can testify (honestly) that I am grateful for the very things that have been the hardest to endure. As Paul stated in the book of Romans, I can see the purpose in the process, the “liberation from bondage into the freedom and glory” that belongs to the children of God. Jesus changes everything.
Grace that frees.
Hope that restores.
Mercy that reveals.
Love that redeems.
I have seen these transformations. I have walked them. I have felt them, beheld them. And though my flesh is loud and so very, very weak, I know that they exist and I know that they are possible.
Seeing and knowing and feeling His great redemption does not yet mean I have arrived at attaining it fully. It belongs to me, yes, but the war with my flesh is still as real as the revelation is. The war between the flesh and the mighty Truths and freedoms of God are exquisitely vivid.
Every. Single. Day.
Perhaps as we walk through the seasons of this life – through hardships, through yearning, learning, growing, breaking, and healing – it is all part of a grander plan to awaken within us the mighty nature of what we are called to be.
Aliens and strangers in a world that is not our home.
Because the more we learn, the more we yearn. Truth, redemption, healing, hope. It’s all found only in Him. And as our nerve endings fray and fracture with the weight of a world we were never meant to bear, our souls are laid bare to what it is we truly need…and how to get there.
“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness upon you.”
Oh, dear Jesus…may Your Spirit be louder than our flesh. May we sow righteousness and reap the fruit of unfailing love. May our souls respond to You alone and may the depth of our depravity find relief only at the foot of Your cross. Cause us to be brave as we press into the often painful process of breaking up our unplowed ground – in our lives and in our hearts. And as we draw closer still to the Truth and Power of who You are, may we have the courage and perseverance to lay ourselves down for something infinitely grander.
As we taste and see that You are always good, may our hunger and our vision be only for that which brings life eternal.
May it be so. Amen.
The song I want to share with you today is from Nathan Jess and Andrew Graham, off the album, Phoenix, called “Tear the Veil.” The video features a short film that is beautifully done and the lyrics truly depict the cry of the believer’s heart to draw closer still to our Savior Jesus…even as we break up the soil of our lives. I pray that it ministers to you as it has to me.
With joy for the journey,